Coronavirus reaches Northern Ireland as man is treated for symptoms in Belfast
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Coronavirus reaches Northern Ireland as man is treated for symptoms in Belfast

A MAN is being treated at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital for symptoms associated with the deadly coronavirus.

It's understood that the man had travelled from Wuhan - where the outbreak began - to Northern Ireland and was put in isolation after touching down at Belfast Airport on Sunday.

The man, believed to be a Chinese national, was taken to isolation as a precautionary measure and test results, to determine whether or not he has the virus, are due back in the next 24 hours.

Reportedly, medical professionals are expecting the results to come back negative.

It's reported that the patient has been admitted to hospital with a very high temperature.

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The news comes less than a day after reports that a number of people were being treated for symptoms of the virus in Scotland.

The virus has caused 18 deaths in China so far and a further 840 people are confirmed to have contracted the disease, with the number expected to rise rapidly over the next few days.

The city of Wuhan in central China, home to 11 million people, is currently on lockdown, with all public transport - including planes and trains - in and out of the city suspended in an attempt to contain the outbreak.

The neighbouring city of Huanggang, home to around seven million people, is also on lockdown.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) in Northern Ireland said it is keeping abreast of the changing situation around the virus.

People who develop symptoms within two weeks of returning to Northern Ireland from Wuhan are advised "not to panic", but to contact their GP by telephone.

Special measures have reportedly been implemented to transfer those most at risk of coronavirus to hospital.

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"We do not expect it to become widely established in Northern Ireland," said Dr Philip Veal, PHA consultant in health protection.