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Plane passenger who landed in Dublin is kept in hospital after being tested for virus

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Grim task: Funeral home workers in Wuhan remove the body of a person suspected to have died from the virus. Photo: Chinatopix via AP

Grim task: Funeral home workers in Wuhan remove the body of a person suspected to have died from the virus. Photo: Chinatopix via AP

AP

Grim task: Funeral home workers in Wuhan remove the body of a person suspected to have died from the virus. Photo: Chinatopix via AP

A passenger who arrived in Dublin Airport on a flight from Moscow on Saturday night is still believed to be under observation at the Mater Hospital while he undergoes screening to assess if he has coronavirus.

It could be later today before the man, who is understood to have originally travelled from China, is diagnosed or given the all-clear.

The National Public Health Emergency (NPHE) team has said it will not comment on unconfirmed cases of the virus but stressed that as of yesterday there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ireland.

It refused to confirm if there were any suspected cases or anyone undergoing assessment either.

The Aeroflot flight landed in Dublin at around 9pm where it was met by medical personnel in hazmat suits who boarded the flight to speak to the man, who told them he had come from China via Moscow, it is reported.

Other passengers have reportedly said their temperatures were checked before they were allowed to disembark, and they had to fill out forms and were told they may be contacted in a few days.

The passengers were allowed off the plane at 11pm.

It is understood the passenger who was taken away by ambulance was brought to an isolation room in the Mater Hospital which has been set up as part of the Irish response to the coronavirus outbreak.

A Co Longford doctor, Laura Noonan, was on the flight and posted details of the incident on her Facebook page 'Laura's Russian Lifeline'.

Dr Noonan had been in Russia to receive treatment for a rare illness she has, and said she had only been on the flight because she was so weak she had to travel home earlier than she had planned.

She posted a photograph of the information sheet from the HSE and Health Protection Surveillance Centre which indicated to passengers that they had been on a flight from Moscow with a possible case of novel coronavirus.

It advised to avoid contact with other people as much as possible that night.

"If you become ill, especially with cough, sore throat, breathlessness or high temperature stay at home or in your hotel room and phone a doctor or 999 for advice, mentioning that you were on this flight. A public health doctor will contact you tomorrow," the advice sheet stated.

Dr Noonan also posted photographs of a person in a hazmat suit on the plane, and an ambulance on the ground beside the plane.

Yesterday she wrote that she had been feeling very unwell since arriving home and she was tempted to go to hospital as planned when she boarded the flight home with her husband.

"But we couldn't. We are observing the self-enforced isolation in our home. We won't be seeing anyone or going anywhere until this case of suspected coronavirus is either confirmed or excluded," she wrote.

The statement from the NPHE said Ireland had advanced plans in place as part of its preparations to deal with public health emergencies such as novel coronavirus.

Irish Independent


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Medical staff try to cheer up a patient infected by the coronavirus in a hospital isolation ward in Zouping in China’s Shandong province. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty. Photo: Getty