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'Plans ready for escalation'

Arlene Foster has said "plans are in place" to deal with any escalation of the coronavirus here. She was speaking after attending an emergency COBRA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London.

The First Minister has said that plans for herself and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill to visit Washington for St Patrick's week celebration will be kept under review. Ms O'Neill and Health Minister Robin Swann joined the meeting by conference call from Stormont.

A Sinn Fein spokeswoman said: "The purpose was to assess the response to the coronavirus outbreak across England, Scotland, Wales, the island of Ireland, and internationally.

"The devolved regions remain in containment stage and heads of governments, including Michelle O'Neill and Arlene Foster, will continue to meet through COBRA alongside Health Minister Robin Swann."

Belfast Telegraph