Passenger on Moscow-Dublin flight is tested for coronavirus

Department of Health says to date ‘there are no confirmed cases’ of virus in Ireland

The flight landed at Dublin Airport shortly after 9pm on Saturday.  Photograph: iStock

The flight landed at Dublin Airport shortly after 9pm on Saturday. Photograph: iStock

 

A passenger who arrived into Dublin on a flight from Moscow this weekend has been kept in isolation and tested for coronavirus.

The flight landed shortly after 9pm on Saturday, and the passenger was removed by ambulance.

In a statement on Sunday evening, the Department of Health said it wouldn’t comment or confirm suspected cases or whether response plans to suspected cases had been activated.

However, “to date, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Ireland”, it said.

Leaflets were distributed to passengers on the flight by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) advising them that they had “been on a flight with a possible case of novel coronavirus”.

Images of the leaflet, circulating on social media, show that passengers were told to “please avoid contact with other people as much as possible tonight”.

The leaflet, which is dated February 1st, advises passengers to stay at home or in their hotel room if they became ill, “especially with cough, sore throat, breathlessness of high temperature”, and to phone a doctor or 999, mentioning that they had been on the flight.

“A public health doctor will contact you tomorrow”.

Spokeswomen for the HSE and the Department of Health would not confirm any details relating to the incident.

The Department said that “Ireland has advanced plans in place as part of its comprehensive preparedness to deal with public health emergencies such as novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV).

“The aim of these plans in Ireland at this point in the response to novel Coronavirus is one of containment. This seeks to maximise the chance of a case being detected should one arise here and to prevent it being transmitted to another person.”

“The activation of protocols that achieve this is a core and expected feature of our preparedness and ongoing response. The protocol always ensures that the people involved are fully communicated with and are aware of what is going on. Their activation is an indication of the quality and responsiveness of the agencies and the staff who carry them out in the health services, the emergency service and at the ports of entry into Ireland.”

The Department said that no information will be provided about “individual activations of these plans or about individual cases of novel Coronoavirus other than confirmed cases”.