COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 Coronavirus

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Situation in Northern Ireland

19 February 2020

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed that no cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Northern Ireland. 35 tests have been completed and all results have come back negative (as at 2pm on 19 February 2020).

Dr Gerry Waldron, Head of Health Protection at the PHA, said: “The Public Health Agency is working with partners across the UK including Public Health England, as well as the Department of Health and health trusts in Northern Ireland, and the health service in the Republic of Ireland, on the ongoing global novel coronavirus response.

“As part of this, the health service here is monitoring for any potential cases of COVID-19.

“Belfast Trust’s Regional Viral Laboratory is now one of 12 UK centres testing for novel coronavirus. Until this week, all samples taken from people suspected of having the virus in Northern Ireland were sent to England for testing, but the new local facility will speed up results.

“A helpline has also been established for anyone in Northern Ireland who has travelled to China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Macau in the past 14 days. The helpline number is 0300 200 7885 and is available 24/7.

“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 it, 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."

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Latest Northern Ireland case data

As of 19 February 2020 at 2pm, there have been 35 concluded tests, of which 35 were confirmed negative, and 0 were confirmed positive.

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What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe disease. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

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Advice for travellers

coronavirus advice

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Public Health Advice

Like seasonal flu, the same public health advice applies for COVID-19 (Coronavirus): if you cough or sneeze, use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose, throw it away carefully after use, and wash your hands.

catch it

Once flu and similar infectious viruses begin to spread, the main method that can prevent further spread, is good personal hygiene. Washing your hands regularly will help prevent flu and other viruses spreading.

If you do become unwell and suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19 you should stay at home and phone your GP for advice. For further information see guidance given under advice for travellers.

It is also important to remember that a course of antibiotics won’t sort out your cold or flu. Cold and flu are viruses and antibiotics are useless against them.

 

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Downloads

Advice on COVID-19 (Coronavirus), including a general advice poster and specialised posters for GPs, Emergency Departments and ports are available here.

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Further Information

Advice for medical professionals can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/collections/wuhan-novel-coronavirus

People who plan to travel should check the travel advice on: www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

For further information on coronavirus see: www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

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Previous situation updates

COVID-19 - 23 January 2020.pdf
COVID-19 - 31 January 2020.pdf
COVID-19 - 6 February 2020.pdf
COVID-19 - 9 February 2020.pdf
COVID-19 - 10 February 2020.pdf
COVID-19 - 12 February 2020.pdf


 

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