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Two Irish citizens diagnosed with Coronavirus on cruise ship

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Protection: Medical workers in masks and protective clothing tend to a coronavirus patient in Wuhan. Picture: Reuters

Protection: Medical workers in masks and protective clothing tend to a coronavirus patient in Wuhan. Picture: Reuters

Protection: Medical workers in masks and protective clothing tend to a coronavirus patient in Wuhan. Picture: Reuters

Two Irish citizens living abroad have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, Independent.ie understands.

While Ireland remains free of the virus, the Department of Foreign Affairs is now assisting 21 people who have been impacted by the global disruption.

These include 15 citizens who were on cruise ships when an outbreak occurred. Another six have been repatriated from Wuhan City in China.

It is understood Tánaiste Simon Coveney will update Cabinet this evening after the efforts of his officials over recent weeks to help Irish people.

Independent.ie has learned that two out of six Irish citizens on board the Princess Diamond Cruise Ship, which is currently docked off Yokahama, Japan, have tested positive for COVID-19.

They are being treated in hospital in Japan. Sources says they share dual citizenship with another EU member state and are not normally resident in Ireland.

The Irish Embassy in Tokyo is in ongoing contact with these citizens regarding their consular needs.

Another nine Irish citizens are believed to be passengers on the Westerdam Cruise Ship which is docked off Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

Seven of these are currently being screened for the virus. The two other Irish holidaymakers on this ship returned home over the weekend.

The HSE was informed and in a statement this evening the Department of Foreign Affairs said no further comment will be made about any individual’s health or healthcare.

To date, the Department of Health has confirmed there are no cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

More than 100 people have been tested for the virus in this country but all have come back negative.

Ireland is still considered a coronavirus-free country.

In a statement, Mr Coveney said his officials are liaising closely with our Embassies and Consulates overseas regarding the coronavirus outbreak, and the implications for our citizens in the region.

"The safety and welfare of our citizens overseas remain our priority. In these efforts we are working hand-in-hand with the Department of Health and other relevant Departments and Agencies, both in Ireland and internationally, to ensure that all the appropriate advice and precautions are in place," the statement said.

The Irish Government has allocated €500,000 to the World Health Organization to assist its vital work to help control the spread of the Coronavirus.

"The rapid spread of the Coronavirus concerns us all. It is vital to take early, coordinated action to prevent further spread of the virus.

"Ireland’s international support is complementary to our domestic preparedness efforts led by the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive. We all share the overriding goal of minimising the impact of this epidemic," Mr Coveney’s statement concluded.

Irish Independent