Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.05 9 Mar 2020


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The Department of Health says two new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus are community transmission.

One case is a woman in the east of the country, another - a man in the south of the country - is a patient at the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork.

The hospital says the patient is being cared for in a single room and contact precautions have been in place since their arrival.

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"Coronavirus response teams have been in place at the Bon Secours Health System for some time, with working groups at each facility and at group level.

"Bon Secours Health System is working closely too with the HSE and public health colleagues.

"Guidance on protocols to minimise risk to patients and staff are being shared on an ongoing basis."

Visitor restrictions are also in place at all Bon Secours facilities since Friday: one visitor per patient, no children, no visitors with symptoms of flu.

Elective surgeries will continue as normal in Cork, except in a very small number of cases and those patients are being contacted.

A risk assessment is underway.

While strict visitor restrictions are in place across the South/South West Hospital Group.

The hospitals where these restrictions have been implemented are:

  • Cork University Hospital
  • Cork University Maternity Hospital
  • University Hospital Kerry
  • University Hospital Waterford
  • South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital
  • Mercy University Hospital
  • Bantry General Hospital
  • Mallow General Hospital

The Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) has also put in visitor restrictions to all its hospitals until further notice.

These include:

  • Wexford General Hospital
  • St Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny
  • Regional Hospital Mullingar
  • Our Lady’s Hospital Navan
  • National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh
  • National Maternity Hospital
  • Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
  • St Michael’s Hospital Dun Laoghaire
  • St Vincent’s University Hospital
  • St Columcille’s Hospital Loughlinstown
  • Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital

The group adds that children in particular should not visit patients in hospitals.

Exceptions to this ban are parents visiting children in hospital, a partner visiting a maternity patient in the maternity unit, people visiting patients at the end-of-life, a specific nominated carer/family member assisting with care of confused patients (e.g. dementia) and immediate family members visiting patients in ICU/CCU.

There are 21 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.

The Heath Service Executive (HSE) says it is "working rapidly" to identify any contacts the patients may have had, to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer with the Department of Health, says: "Ireland remains in containment phase with 21 cases to date, three of which are associated with community transmission.

"Most people who become infected with COVID-19 experience a mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for some.

"Every individual needs to be aware of how to protect their own health and the health of others.

"The most important way they can do this is by following public health advice."

People are being advised to:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
  • Maintain at least one metre (three feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing/sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Practice cough and sneeze hygiene - covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough/sneeze. Then dispose of the tissue immediately

Get more information here

The death toll from the outbreak in Italy has jumped from 233 to 366 - a sharp increase of 57%.

Officials said it was by far the largest daily rise in fatalities since the outbreak hit the country last month.

The total number of confirmed cases in Italy also went up by 25% - from 5,883 on Saturday to 7,375 on Sunday.

Speaking of those originally diagnosed with COVID-19 - the disease caused by the coronavirus - a protection agency said 622 had fully recovered on Sunday, compared with 589 the day before.

It comes as southeast Asian stocks have plummeted as investors panic over the economic impact of the virus outbreak, with Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam diving by over 5% each.

China - outside Hubei province - has reported no new locally transmitted cases for the second straight day, but a senior Communist Party official warned against reducing vigilance against the disease.

Meanwhile a third person, a man aged in his 60s, died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK.

Main image: A woman wearing a face mask in Dublin city centre  | Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie


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Bon Secours Health System Bon Secours Hospital Cork Coronavirus Covid-19 Heath Service Executive Hse Ireland Ireland East Hospital Group Italy New Cases South/South West Hospital Group Uk

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