Fourth confirmed case of coronavirus in Northern Ireland

Fourth confirmed case of coronavirus in Northern Ireland

All are linked to travel overseas or were picked up from other confirmed cases.

Liam Woods, HSE director of acute operations, said: "Healthcare workers are at the frontline of this virus outbreak".

One case, a male, in the east of Ireland, is associated with travel from northern Italy.

On Thursday evening a patient, reported to be a woman in her 70s, was the first person in the United Kingdom to die after being diagnosed with COVID-19 while at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

China's National Health Commission said 28 new deaths from the virus were confirmed on Friday in the hardest-hit Hubei Province.

The first case was confirmed last Saturday after a Dublin student who had travelled from northern Italy was isolated in hospital with the virus.

It's believed that this case in Cork is the country's the first community transmission, and the man is now being treated at Cork University Hospital.

At a press conference last night it was confirmed that there were seven new cases of coronavirus confirmed in the space of 24 hours.

The updated figures come as United States authorities prepare to respond to a cruise ship carrying British passengers off the Californian coast, after 21 people on board tested positive for coronavirus.

"21,460 people have been tested in the UK, of which 21,254 were confirmed negative and 206 were confirmed as positive", the UK Department of Health and Social Care said, adding that two coronavirus patients have died so far.

"The public health doctors who are at the front line of that are continuing to do good work in terms of both facilitating the identification of cases and supporting the clinical community in the diagnosis of those and in facilitating the contact tracing efforts that are underway".

They said: "This whole nightmare is not something that we or our loved one asked for".

The NPHET also met earlier to consider guidance from the Expert Advisory Group on managing healthcare workers who are close contacts of a confirmed case in Cork University Hospital.

The Republic's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn said: "The past number of weeks have been challenging for everyone in our healthcare system".

Jennie Harries told the BBC on Saturday that a decision about the next phase of delaying the spread of the virus would depend on how fast the number of cases rose.

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