Health officials in Northern Ireland and the Republic worked rapidly through the night to trace the last movements of a woman who was diagnosed with Coronavirus in Belfast yesterday.
The woman, who is currently receiving specialist medical treatment, is the first confirmed case of Coronavirus on the island of Ireland.
She had recently flown into Dublin Airport after a trip to northern Italy. It is understood that she was travelling with a child, who is currently awaiting test results.
The diagnosis sparked a cross-border operation to trace people who may have come into contact with the woman in a bid to stop Covid-19 from spreading. The Department of Health confirmed this morning that contact tracing has been completed.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan told RTÉ News the HSE was contacting people who sat within two rows of the person on the plane and any staff who had direct contact with the woman. It is not yet known if the person used public transport to travel home to Belfast. However, Irish Rail says a deep clean of the full enterprise service was carried out as a precaution overnight.
Chief Medical Officer in Northern Ireland Dr Michael McBride said people who had casual passing contact with the woman should not be concerned. He said the patient took steps to self-isolate and had contacted their GP prior to testing.
RTE News also reports that the woman was tested at Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast but has since been allowed to return home and is being treated in isolation.
Dr David Irwin from the NI Public Health Agency told BBC Radio Ulster that the risk to the population of NI has not changed as a result of the woman’s presumptive positive test result.
People who may have had direct face-to-face contact with someone with the virus or sat within two rows of the person for more than 15 minutes are considered to be most at risk.