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Second case of coronavirus confirmed in Republic of Ireland - not connected to school shutdown

  • Second patient tests positive for Covid-19 in Republic of Ireland
  • Woman travelled from northern Italy

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Minister for Health Simon Harris pictured in Dublin Airport where he spoke to the media regarding the outbreak and prevention of the Coronavirus in Ireland. Credit: Gerry Mooney

Minister for Health Simon Harris pictured in Dublin Airport where he spoke to the media regarding the outbreak and prevention of the Coronavirus in Ireland. Credit: Gerry Mooney

Minister for Health Simon Harris pictured in Dublin Airport where he spoke to the media regarding the outbreak and prevention of the Coronavirus in Ireland. Credit: Gerry Mooney

The Republic of Ireland’s second case of coronavirus has been confirmed in a woman in the east of the country.

It is understood she returned from northern Italy in recent days – but is not believed to have been in contact with a Dublin student who is currently being treated in hospital.

Officials have tonight applied a travel ban to the four regions in Italy where the virus has been spreading rapidly in recent days.

Up to yesterday some 397 people were tested for the Covid-19 in Ireland – but just one tested positive.

Tests carried out today confirmed the second case. Efforts are now underway to trace anybody who has been in contact with the woman.

She is receiving the appropriate medical treatment from the HSE.

A male student was the first confirmed patient being treated for coronavirus in the Republic and is currently in isolation.

The patient also returned from an affected region in northern Italy.

In the following days, the Department of Health said that a school in Dublin was to temporarily close for two weeks after coming into contact with the patient.

A primary school and pre-school adjacent to the closed school remain open however.

In a letter to school principals following the decision to close the Dublin school for two weeks he said the decision was made on public health grounds.

Dr Holohan did, however, in another letter this evening to parents of school and pre-school children, reassure parents, siblings and other members of community of the secondary school closed by coronavirus that they should "continue their daily routine as normal".

And earlier today, it emerged that those who attended a band practice at the weekend were asked by the HSE to self-isolate until Sunday, March 15.

It is understood that the male student attended the band practice before being diagnosed with Covid-19, and the HSE has issued the letter to the people who attended the same practice to prevent the possible spread of infection.

Earlier today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said there is a moderate to high risk of more cases emerging and that the government is pursuing a policy of containment. "There will be no panic but there will also be no complacency," he said.

He said there was no requirement for emergency legislation at this stage but that this would be kept under review.

Meanwhile, Google has told the majority of its 8,000 workers to stay at home for a second day.

The company is still waiting on results for the worker who has reported flu-like symptoms.

The move affects the web giant’s massive Barrow Street and Dublin 4 offices, but not its data centres, Eastpoint or Sandyford facilities.

It comes after Twitter told over 200 workers in its Dublin offices to work at home if they could.

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Irish Independent