The first case of the coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland has been confirmed by the Department of Health. The patient is a male in the eastern part of the country and is receiving medical care.
The Department said that the case is associated with the patient travelling to an affected area of Northern Italy rather than contact from another case.
In a statement, Dr Tony Holohan, the Chief Medical Officer, said that the case was “not unexpected”.
“We have been preparing for this eventuality for many weeks now,” he said.
“Public health protocols have been in place since January and are operating effectively. The health service is well used to managing infectious diseases and has robust measures in place.”
The National Public Health Emergency Team said that the patient was identified and tested “in line with established protocols for the investigation of suspect cases of Covid-19″.
The HSE is now working to identify people who may have come into contact with the patient.