Coronavirus: Two new cases in Northern Ireland brings total to 20

Senior NI Ministers meet to consider escalating response

Two new presumed positive cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Northern Ireland.

The North’s Department of Health (DoH) said both cases were adults, and were secondary transmissions.

“One case involved recent travel from Northern Italy and the other can be traced to a previously reported case that involved recent travel to Northern Italy,” the department said.

The Public Health Agency is currently undertaking contact tracing for both cases.


A total of 279 concluded tests have so far been carried out in Northern Ireland. 259 were negative, and 20 were positive.

It comes as senior Northern Executive Ministers are meeting at Stormont on Thursday to consider whether to ratchet up its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

As stringent new measures were introduced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to try to combat Covid-19 in the Republic, First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill and health Minister Robin Swann were meeting senior officials and the North's chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride to consider its continuing response to the virus.

The Ministers also were waiting to hear the outcome from a lunchtime meeting of senior British government ministers, including prime minister Boris Johnson, to decide whether to escalate the overall UK response to coronavirus.

Ms Foster, Ms O’Neill and Mr Swann are to meet again in the afternoon with the officials and Dr McBride. There is also the possibility that a full Northern Executive meeting will be convened.

These meetings, said a Northern Executive spokeswoman, “were to consider the response to the ongoing developments”.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times

Freya McClements

Freya McClements

Freya McClements is Northern Editor of The Irish Times