FOUR new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Ireland overnight, bringing the total number to six.
It's understood that all four patients are from one family who recently travelled to northern Italy, where a coronavirus outbreak has gripped the area.
One of the patients is a pupil at a school in Co. Clare, which has subsequently closed for two weeks.
The school is the second in Ireland to shut for two weeks following the closure of a school in Dublin on Monday when a pupil was diagnosed with the deadly virus.
After the Department of Health confirmed the latest cases on Wednesday evening, parents were sent the following text:
"A child in our school has tested positive for Covid-19 and as a precaution, school is closed from tomorrow (Thursday) for 14 days. Re-opening 18th March. Public health doctors will contact you individually from tomorrow on."
According to theJournal.ie, one parent of a child attending the school said: "We [parents] all got a text tonight confirming that a child in the school had been confirmed as testing positive for the virus.
"We really don’t know what to do now. There’s been a lot of talk on the parent’s WhatsApp group and we haven’t a clue what will happen next.
"My child is off school for the next two weeks which means I’ll have to stay at home and take time off my job. That's going to be very very tough. I can’t really ask someone else to mind him in case he has picked it up. I don’t know what to do."
It's understood that another school in the area has remained closed today, while management have told parents to await further information regarding extended closures pending advise from HSE (Health Service Executive).
The total number of confirmed cases on the island of Ireland currently stands at nine, with three patients diagnosed with coronavirus in Northern Ireland.