Q Radio News
The first case of Covid-19 has been identified in Northern Ireland.
The adult patient had been in Italy and travelled north from Dublin, chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said.
The positive result has been sent to Public Health England laboratories for verification.
The individual acted appropriately in reporting concerns to the health authorities but those most at risk who were in close proximity are being traced and checked, Dr McBride added.
The senior official said: "The risk to the rest of the population is low."
Chief Medical Officer Dr.Michael McBride says a person with Coronavirus in Northern Ireland travelled here from the Republic of Ireland. People who may have been in close contact are being traced, but people are being told not to be alarmed amid efforts to contain Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/r4PmTvZhuc— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) February 27, 2020
A special unit has been established at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for isolating those suffering from the virus but the health authorities were unable to confirm where the individual is being treated.
#Coronavirus latest: Advice ‘has not changed’ in Northern Ireland after a first case of Covid-19 is confirmed. The patient is said to be receiving specialist care after calling a GP with concerns & self isolating. They had travelled here from Northern Italy via Dublin: 🎥 pic.twitter.com/aNQT4GEsET— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) February 27, 2020
Dr McBride added: "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."