Following on from the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Italy, the National Public Health Emergency Team has today noted that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) now rates the risk of the occurrence of similar clusters of cases in other EU countries as moderate to high.
In light of this, the National Public Health Emergency Team met on Sunday 23 Feb, and will meet again on Tuesday, 25 Feb, to monitor the situation in Europe and globally, and to advance preparedness plans for Ireland.
Speaking after the National Public Health Emergency Team meeting on Sunday, 23 Feb, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health, said:
“Ireland has been working on its preparedness for Covid-19 (Coronavirus) since January. We remain in a containment phase and, to date, there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 here.
“However, clearly the international situation is evolving. We will work with counterparts at the ECDC and WHO over the coming days to fully assess and incorporate the implications of these developments into our approach in Ireland.
“Our public health advice currently remains unchanged - anyone who may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, or who has been to mainland China in the last 14 days, is advised to contact HSE Live. If they are unwell with cough, especially with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever) they should isolate themselves and phone their GP immediately.
The National Public Health Emergency Team’s decision making will continue to be guided by WHO and ECDC assessments throughout the coming days.
The general public is encouraged to inform themselves on prevention measures issued by HSE and to follow gov.ie/health for daily updates.