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16.41 2 Mar 2020


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Sinn Féin has cancelled its public meetings in Cavan and Galway after a case of coronavirus was confirmed at the school attended by Mary Lou McDonald's children.

The party leader has said she wants to stay close to home after the school was closed for two weeks.

Ms McDonald said on Twitter that she has cancelled planned public meetings tonight and on Friday.

She said: "My children's school is closed for the next fortnight because of a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

"Obviously, we are following all of the chief medical officer's advice and therefore the children have to be at home for the next 14 days.

"This is a worrying time for families and the staff of the school, particularly for the family of the person affected and we wish them a speedy recovery.

"I have had to reorganise everything and all of my work schedule because of this and so the public meetings in Cavan and in Galway this week will, unfortunately, have to be postponed but we will set a date for them very soon.

She added: "Remember to follow all of the advice, to listen to the medical advice and wash your hands with warm soapy water and then wash them again, to take care of yourselves and take care of each other."

The Dublin school is keeping its doors closed for two weeks as a precaution after a male student contracted the infection.

The pupil, who became the first person in the Republic to contract the virus after recently returning from Northern Italy, is currently in a hospital isolation unit.

The Department of Health will give an update on the status of coronavirus in Ireland this evening.

It has defended its decision not to name the school, with officials stressing they believe the risk of the virus spreading is still low.

Public health officials will text families at the school regularly to see if they have any symptoms over the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, the cabinet will meet tomorrow with the response to Covid-19 high on the agenda.

Main image: Mary Lou McDonald TD speaking to the media last week. Photo: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

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