Department of Health statement on Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Date published: 07 February 2020

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We would like to again assure the public that plans are in place to deal with a positive test for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland when it occurs.

DoH Coronavirus statement

It is also inevitable that a number of people will continue to be tested on a precautionary basis in the weeks ahead and it is important to keep these tests in perspective.  A test does not mean that a positive result is expected or likely.

As of 6 February, a total of 566 tests were concluded across the UK, of which 563 were confirmed negative and 3 positive.

Different precautionary measures are taken as part of the testing protocols. This can include protective clothing for health and social care staff – for their protection and protection of the wider public.

Again, the use of protective clothing should not be taken as an indication that a positive test is expected.

Northern Ireland health authorities do not intend to comment publicly on each case where a person is being tested. There are patient confidentiality issues to consider, particularly when small numbers of people are involved. There is also a need to avoid undue alarm or speculation. This situation will be kept under review.

When a positive test for Covid-19 occurs in Northern Ireland, the Chief Medical Officer will make a statement confirming the result and reiterating advice to the general public.

While there can be no room of complacency, it is important to stress that NI’s health service is well-prepared and used to managing infections. We are working and liaising closely with colleagues in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland and that co-operation will continue.

Advice and information on Covid-19 are available on the Public Health Agency and Department of Health websites and from a special helpline number 0300 200 7885.

 

Notes to editors: 

  1. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0636 or email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk . For out-of-hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110. 
  2. Follow us on @healthdpt

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