A north Dublin school has been closed for two weeks after one of its students began the first person in the Republic of Ireland diagnosed with Coronavirus.
Scoil Chaitriona, in Glasnevin, will remain closed until Mar. 16 in a bid to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Republic of Ireland.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) attempted to conceal the identity of the school from the general public, however, a letter was circulated on social media which named the school.
“A case of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in a person in Scoil Chaitriona, St Mobhi Rd, Dublin 9," the letter read.
“As a result, to prevent the possible spread of infection the school has been closed from the 1st of March 2020 until Monday the 16th of March."
The letter also stated that all students and staff in the school were being treated as possible contacts with the case and that they would be closely be monitored by HSE staff over the next two weeks.
The HSE confirmed on Saturday night that a male had contracted the virus after traveling to one of the affected regions in Northern Italy.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), meanwhile, said that it is trying to identify all stages of his journey from Italy to Ireland.
The HPSC said that it would notify anyone who came in close contact with him and give them necessary advice on how they should proceed.
A case of COVID-19 has now been identified in the Rep of Ireland. The person is receiving treatment in hospital, with appropriate infection prevention measures. The risk to the general public is still low. This risk may change. People may continue to go to work, school, as usual.— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) March 1, 2020
The HSE also said that the male was being treated with appropriate infection prevention measures in hospital.
It added that the risk of contracting Coronavirus, medically referred to as Covid-19, was still very low and that people should continue to go to school or work as normal.
The risk of transmission from casual contact is also very low, according to Dr. John Cuddihy, Director of the HSPC.
Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team added: “Covid-19 is spread through close contact with an infected person’s body fluids (e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing), or by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on."
The Department of Health added that people should report symptoms of Covid-19 to the appropriate health services to prevent further spreading of the virus.
“Any person concerned that they may have symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) should immediately isolate themselves from others and contact their GP by phone," said the National Public Health Emergency Team.
The Department also stressed that a confirmed Irish case was expected and that the country is still in a 'containment' phase.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health, said that protocols have been in place since January to deal with a potential outbreak.
“The health service is well used to managing infectious diseases and has robust response measures in place," he said.
Ireland's first confirmed Coronavirus case was diagnosed just two days after a patient in Northern Ireland was found to have contracted the virus. The patient, a woman, had traveled from Dublin to Belfast on public transport after flying in from Italy.
She was the first person on the island of Ireland to be diagnosed with Covid-19.
So far, over 87,000 people around the world have been diagnosed with the deadly virus and the death toll stands just shy of 3,000.
Over 79,000 of those cases have been diagnosed in China, with South Korea (3,736), Italy (1,128), and Iran (978) recently reporting spikes in confirmed cases.
However, more than 42,000 people have recovered from the virus and there are currently more recovered cases than active ones.