Coronavirus cases come back negative

Cian Dunne

The 65 suspected coronavirus cases in Ireland have all been tested negative, according to the Department of Health.

Those that have been tested for the virus include children, and the suspected cases were nationwide, including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Carlow and Kerry.

The World Health Organisation has confirmed that the new official name of coronavirus is ‘Covid-19’.

Despite all cases of Covid-19 testing negative so far, there is real concern and expectation that a case will appear in Ireland soon.

“We remain prepared for a confirmed case of Covid-19”, said Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health, Dr Tony Holohan, in a statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team last week. “The Irish health system is currently operating a containment strategy in line with global practice, and all our efforts are focused on identifying suspected cases as they arise and initiating measures to prevent onward transmission of the virus”.

A Chinese student was kept in isolation in Waterford, after travelling to Ireland from Wuhan, the city where the virus was first detected. The student attends Waterford Institute of Technology, and travelled to Ireland before the city of Wuhan was locked down.

DCU has called for all students who are currently on a semester abroad in China, to return to Ireland due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The students will be able to finish their second semester in DCU.

The DCU Health and Safety team, in conjunction with Estates Office, have installed alcohol-based hand sanitising units at 70 different locations, across DCU’s three academic campuses, St Patricks, Glasnevin and All Hallows.

“Our Health and Safety team have put measures in place”, said Jessie Byrne, Head, Student Health Centre DCU. “We also have gowns, glasses and masks should a suspected case come in to us here and we have a protocol in place should a person arrive feeling unwell with symptoms”.

“Most viral illnesses have the same symptoms, we can only distinguish what sort of virus a person has with a swab which we send to UCD”, said Byrne.

Byrne also emphasised the importance of hand washing in order to prevent the spread of the virus, if a case was to appear in Ireland. “Nothing however suffices for hand washing. Hand washing an extra 8- 10 times per day is what is recommended. Scientists have proven extra hand washing will cut down on the spread of any virus”.

Cian Dunne

Image Credit: Fshoq