Health Protection Surveillance Centre warns of 'moderate to low' chance of coronavirus reaching Ireland
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Health Protection Surveillance Centre warns of 'moderate to low' chance of coronavirus reaching Ireland

IRELAND’S HEALTH Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) believes the risk of coronavirus arriving on these shores remains “moderate to low”.

The assessment comes despite the fact one man is being treated at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital for symptoms associated with the deadly virus.

It's understood that the man, who is a Chinese national travelling from Wuhan to Northern Ireland, was put in isolation as a precautionary measure after touching down on Sunday.

However, the Director of the HPSC Dr John Cuddihy is keen to allay an initial concern.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Dr Cuddihy noted the fact there are no direct flights from the affected areas to Ireland as a major positive.

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"The importation to Europe of cases of this coronavirus is moderate," said Dr Cuddihy.

"Now in Ireland, there are no direct flights from Wuhan. There are direct flights from Paris, London and Rome.

"So our risk of having a case in Ireland is moderate to low."

Wuhan is currently on lockdown while the authorities assess the numbers affected by the outbreak.

One local resident, originally from Kildare in Ireland, has lifted the lid on the unfolding situation in the Far East.

Speaking to RTE Morning Ireland, Ben Kavanagh said he hadn’t left his apartment for two or three days and that days are beginning to blur into one another.

“There’s no chance of me going outside anytime soon, because everyone’s saying not to leave at any point at all,” he said.

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“Usually the street I can see from my apartment would be quite busy, but I live near a dual carriage way that I can see and it’s almost like a ghost town.

“You are allowed out but there’s been so many rumours,” he said.