A patient who traveled home to Northern Ireland from Northern Italy via Dublin, is the first person to test ‘positive’ for the Coronavirus in the Provence.
The Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland described the result as a “presumptive positive test” with a secondary test to be carried out in England.
Dr Michael McBride said:
“Our health service is well used to dealing with such infections and I want to reassure the public that we are prepared.
“The risk to population of NI has not changed as a result of this presumptive positive test result.”
The patient will be isolated in a special unit which had been set up and based at the Belfast Royal Victoria Hospital. Up until yesterday 52 people had been tested, Which we’re all negative.
Speaking at the PHA press briefing, Dr McBride went on to say:
“We have been planning for the first positive case in Northern Ireland and have made clear that it was a question of when not if.
“We have robust infection control measures in place which enable us to respond immediately. Our health service is used to managing infections and would assure the public that we are prepared.
“Our advice to the public remains the same. Members of the public who have visited affected regions and have symptoms are advised to self-isolate at home and contact their GP in the first instance. Advice will then be given on next steps, including testing if required.
“More general advice about coronavirus is available at the Public Health Agency website.
“To help reduce any potential spread of coronavirus, we are urging people to follow the steps that we recommend for similar illnesses such as cold and flu – catch, bin it, kill it. Always carry tissues to catch your cough or sneeze, dispose of the tissue as soon as possible after using it, and clean your hands as soon as you can as germs can spread to every surface you touch.”