Five new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Republic of Ireland

The Department of Health has confirmed that there are five new cases of coronavirus in the Republ...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

19.42 6 Mar 2020

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Five new cases of coronavirus...

Five new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Republic of Ireland

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

19.42 6 Mar 2020

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The Department of Health has confirmed that there are five new cases of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland.

There has also been a fourth confirmed case in the North - bringing the total on the island of Ireland to 22.

The HSE's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said three women and two men were newly diagnosed today.


One of the women is a healthcare worker who has had close contact with another confirmed coronavirus patient.

One of the other women recently travelled to northern Italy, while the third had close contact with a confirmed case.

One of the men recently travelled in northern Italy and while the other had recently travelled elsewhere.

Dr Holohan said public health authorities are still investigating where he was travelling; however, they have confirmed that it was not in northern Italy.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Tourists at the Piazza Duomo in Milan, Italy during the coronavirus outbreak, 02-03-2020. Image: LaPresse/SIPA USA/PA Images


He said officials are able to explain the transmission of all but one of the 18 cases diagnosed in the Republic.

"We are still early in the experience of this disease in this country," he said.

"We can reassure people that the contact tracing process, the case identification process is working well.

"The public health doctors who are at the front line of that are continuing to do good work in terms of both facilitating the identification of cases and supporting the clinical community in the diagnosis of those and in facilitating the contact tracing efforts that are underway."

Coronavirus COVID-19 A Coronavirus information leaflet


He said authorities will not reveal further details about the locations of people who are diagnosed because they rely on people to come forward at an early stage if they develop symptoms.

“We are clear that unless we can give a guarantee that we will do everything we can to preserve the anonymity, the confidentiality and the privacy of those individuals, they will be less likely to come forward and to feel secure in reporting and that will be a challenge for our containment policies and procedures.

“So we are giving people the greatest assurance we can that we will protect their confidentiality and their privacy and we will continue to do that.”


The confirmations came just minutes after a fourth case was confirmed in the North.

That brings the total number on the island to 22.

In a statement, Northern Ireland’s Department of Health said the “presumptive positive” result had been sent to Public Health England laboratories for verification.

The patient is an adult who had recently returned from Italy and is linked to a previous positive case.

Health officials are now working to identify anyone the patient had contact with.

Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said further positive cases were expected and officials expect the number to increase in the coming days.

“Northern Ireland remains in the containment phase and it is important to emphasise that. This will obviously be kept under constant review,” he said.

He called on everyone to continue doing everything they can to prevent the spread of the virus.


South of the border, strict visiting restrictions are now in place at 22 hospitals and hundreds of nursing homes around the country.

The hospital groups that have put in place the restrictions are:

  • University Hospital Limerick Group
  • Saolta Group of Hospitals
  • South/South West Hospital Group
  • Mater Hospital

Meanwhile, 60 staff members at Cork University Hospital have been asked to self-isolate after a case of the virus was diagnosed at the hospital yesterday.

Coronavirus COVID-19 The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (right), alongside HSE Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan at Government Buildings in Dublin, 06-07-2020. Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

St Patrick's day

Dr Holohan this afternoon joined the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in chairing a briefing with patient representative organisations, including ALONE, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and Nursing Homes Ireland.

Following the meeting, Mr Varadkar said he expects more cases to be diagnosed in the next few days, weeks and months, but noted that most people who contract the virus will experience only mild symptoms.

He said the Government is not currently recommending the cancellation of major events like St Patrick’s Day.

He also said retired health care professional may be asked to come back into service, “if there are significant pressures on our health service in the weeks ahead.”

Coronavirus COVID-19 File photo dated 28/02/20 of (left to right) Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn and Health Minister Simon Harris. Dr Glynn has urged the public not to panic after confirmation of the second case of Covid-19 on the island.


The HSE is urging anyone who has been to one of seven coronavirus-affected areas in the past two weeks and is experiencing symptoms of the virus to phone their local GP or Emergency Department without delay.

The symptoms are a cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, fever (high temperature).

If you are feeling well, you are advised to carry on with your normal routine.

People are urged to contact the HSE on 1850 24 1850 if they think they have been in contact with a coronavirus patient or if they were at a healthcare facility in another country where coronavirus patients are being treated.

Health officials say there is no need for masks or gloves.

The best way to protect yourself from the virus is to:

  • Wash your hands properly and often
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
  • Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Avoid close contact with people who are not well.

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

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