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Apple employee at Cork campus tests positive for coronavirus

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Apple HQ in Co Cork (Niall Carson/PA)

Apple HQ in Co Cork (Niall Carson/PA)

Apple HQ in Co Cork (Niall Carson/PA)

An Apple employee at the company’s giant Cork campus has tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently in isolation, the company says.

"One of our employees in Cork has been confirmed to have Covid-19,” the company said in a statement.

“We are closely coordinating with the local health authorities who feel the risk to others is low, and the individual remains in self-isolation.

"As a precaution, we have asked some of our team members to stay at home while we work with the Health and Safety Executive to assess the situation. We are continuing to regularly deep clean all our offices and stores and will take all necessary precautions in accordance with guidance from health authorities."

The Apple campus employs over 6,000 people. Its workforce consists of multiple nationalities from different parts of Europe given the nature of the work done there.

On Monday more cases of Covid-19 in the Republic were confirmed, bringing the total number to 24.

They included females from the west and south of the country in close contact with cases and a female healthcare worker from the south in close contact with a patient.

On Monday, Mr Varadkar warned that more than half of the population in the Republic of Ireland could contract Covid-19.

He made the comments as the government unveiled a 430 million euro financial aid package to tackle the health crisis.

The government also cancelled all St Patrick’s Day parades across the country.

The 430 million euro will be allocated to provide additional staff and capacity in the health service to deal with the virus, while the government also plans to amend legislation on sick pay to make it available from the first day of illness rather than the current six days.

Earlier today, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney urged Irish people to cancel travel plans to all parts of Italy but said that stopping tourists coming from Italy is out of his control.

In light of internal developments in Italy, the Department of Foreign Affairs has upgraded travel advice to Irish citizens, recommending against travel to the whole of Italy.

There are now almost 10,000 people infected with Covid-19 in Italy and close to 500 people there have died from the virus.

Mr Coveney has urged Irish people to avoid travelling to all parts of Italy, unless absolutely essential.

"Up until yesterday, our travel advice for Italy was that nobody should travel to the northern regions, unless it was absolutely essential. Now that is extended to the country as a whole," he said.

"The vast majority of the 24 people who have tested positive in Ireland so far, have come from northern Italy, and they brought it home with them.

"It really is totally unprecedented that you'd have a Minister for Foreign Affairs advising Irish citizens not to travel to large EU member states. But that is the advice this morning."

Last weekend, hundreds of Italian rugby supporters arrived in Dublin despite their Six Nations clash with Ireland being postponed.

Mr Coveney said that it is out of his jurisdiction to control flights leaving Italy for Ireland, but that the caretaker Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, will today raise the issue of flights and further EU-wide responses at a meeting of the European Council.

"The truth is that a very, very small numbers of people will be traveling out of Italy to other countries. But the Taoiseach has a council meeting with other EU leaders today, it's a teleconference meeting," Mr Coveney said on RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

"The truth is that we have no experts on the planet on Covid19 because it's new - 13 weeks ago, no one ever heard of it.

"We can't control that (flights from Italy) but effectively, Italy is now in lockdown as a country that 60 million people aren't moving around, except for to facilitate essential work.

"He (Mr Varadkar) will be raising the issue of how do we manage air travel collectively, across the European Union to try to reduce risk of the spread of this virus."

Online Editors