Ireland remains free of coronavirus –

The Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health says systems are responding well in identifying any possible coronavirus (now renamed Covid-19) threat in Ireland. 

Tony Holohan said all those who have been tested so far had visited mainland China.

He explained that testing is quite quick and if a sample is delivered to the national virus reference lab by 10am, a diagnosis can be given before the end of the day. 

So far no-one has tested positive in Ireland for the virus but if there is a positive diagnosis, Dr Holohan reasssured the public that the health service is well prepared to deal with such a scenario.

He said the HSE had the capacity to “deal with the volume that might be expected.” 

Dr Holohan added that Ireland is at least as well prepared, if not better, than most countries throughout Europe.

The Chief Medical Officer said that there is no situation in Ireland where people are kept in quarantine.

He advised anyone who has recently returned from mainland China and has flu like symptoms to ring their GP and not visit the surgery.

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