Connect with us

Brexit News Now 247

Northern Ireland Coronavirus: Big increase in tests carried out in Northern Ireland


Brexit

Northern Ireland Coronavirus: Big increase in tests carried out in Northern Ireland

Image caption Health minister Robin Swann said there had only been one positive test for coronavirus in NI More than 50 people have been tested for coronavirus in Northern Ireland since Friday, bringing the total to 150 – with one person testing positive.Health Minister Robins Swann told the assembly there had been 57 tests since…

Northern Ireland Coronavirus: Big increase in tests carried out in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Health minister Robin Swann

Image caption

Health minister Robin Swann said there had only been one positive test for coronavirus in NI

More than 50 people have been tested for coronavirus in Northern Ireland since Friday, bringing the total to 150 – with one person testing positive.

Health Minister Robins Swann told the assembly there had been 57 tests since Friday.

He said “detailed plans” were in place in case of the virus becoming a pandemic.

Stormont has contributed to the UK-wide virus action plan, due to be published on Tuesday.

The one confirmed case in Northern Ireland is a woman who had returned from northern Italy, who has received “specialist medical healthcare”.

Mr Swann said there were no implications locally after a case was confirmed in Dublin last Thursday.

The National Public Health Emergency Team in the Republic of Ireland is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss further steps.

Meanwhile about 8,000 staff members at Google in the Republic of Ireland will work from home on Tuesday, after a worker reported flu-like symptoms.

It is not known whether those are coronavirus-related but the firm is taking the opportunity to test its preparedness for a scenario where the virus escalates.

“We continue to take precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of our workforce, and as part of that effort we have asked our Dublin teams to work from home tomorrow,” a Google spokesperson said.

Northern Ireland Drive-through facilities

Mr Swann said people who had travelled between Dublin and Belfast using public transport “need not be concerned”.

He said wider UK action plan “sets out what the UK as a whole has already done and plan to do further”.

Emergency departments in Northern Ireland are preparing drive-through testing facilities in addition to the one already operating at Antrim Area Hospital.

It is believed the rest will be functional within the next fortnight, and BBC News NI understands Belfast’s provisions are set to be ready by the end of this week.

Updated numbers on the amount of tests being carried out are due to be published later in the week.

Image caption

Health bodies in NI and ROI are monitoring developments

“I will continue to take part in the weekly Cobra ministerial [meeting] to ensure our joined-up approach to tackling this disease continues,” Mr Swann said.

The assembly heard health authorities on both sides of the border have been liaising “to ensure that where possible both jurisdictions can make the best use of our collective resources”.

The First and Deputy First Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill, along with Mr Swann and Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride, took part in an emergency Cobra meeting about the virus on Monday.

Image copyright
Pacemaker

Image caption

Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer said measures were in place to deal with positive coronavirus tests

“We have been planning for the first case in Northern Ireland and we have robust infection control measures in place which have enabled us to respond immediately,” said Dr McBride.

“The risk to individuals in Northern Ireland has not changed at this stage.”

The Republic of Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan confirmed the department of health is looking at several options in its attempts to contain the virus.

The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet tomorrow to discuss potential alterations to the advice it might give.

“We’re giving some consideration to the issue of mass gatherings, ongoing consideration to our public health guidance and to the question of community testing and the possibility of moving the burden of community testing from the hospital environment out into the community,” said Dr Holohan.

Image copyright
RTE

Image caption

Dr Tony Holohan said the issue mass gatherings would be up for discussion

“At this point, we’re not expecting restrictions, we still remain in a containment phase in this country, one case has been identified.

“The measures that have been put in place both in terms of the clinical response to that case and the public health response in that case give us confidence that we should be in a position to prevent onward transmission.”

Northern Ireland Tenerife flight

Northern Ireland tourists who were staying at a hotel in Tenerife which was locked down after a visiting Italian doctor tested positive for coronavirus arrived at Belfast International Airport on Monday night.

Real Life. Real News. Real Voices

Help us tell more of the stories that matter

Become a founding member

They were previously not allowed to leave the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel.

They flew Manchester first to drop off tourists from other parts of the UK before travelling onwards to Belfast.

Meanwhile Ryanair has cancelled some flights – mainly to and from to Italy – as a result of decreased demand following the spread of coronavirus.

Image copyright
PA Media

Image caption

Ryanair has cancelled some flights due to a coronavirus outbreak

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has also postponed party meetings in Cavan and Galway due the coronavirus.

A case of the virus was confirmed at her children’s school and she made the decision to stay at home with them on Monday.

The school was closed for 14 days as part of the Republic’s infection-control measures.

Although the name of the school has not been officially released, parents at Scoil Chaitríona in Glasnevin confirmed on social media it was their school.

RTÉ reported that at a meeting on Monday night at a venue away from the school, parents and guardians were assured that the school would be professionally cleaned before it reopened

Northern Ireland What do I need to know about the coronavirus?

Subscribe to the newsletter news

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories

To Top