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  1. ITV Report

Latest update confirms no coronavirus cases in NI

Credit: ITV

The Public Health Agency say there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Northern Ireland.

On Wednesday the agency said that 35 tests had been completed so far, and all results had returned negative.

Head of Health Protection at the PHA said Belfast Trust's new Regional Viral Laboratory will reduce the wait for results. The facility is now one of twelve centres in the UK testing for novel coronavirus.

Dr Gerry Waldron said: “Until this week, all samples taken from people suspected of having the virus in Northern Ireland were sent to England for testing, but the new local facility will speed up results."

A helpline has been established for anyone in Northern Ireland who has travelled to China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Macau in the past 14 days.

The helpline number is 0300 200 7885 and is available 24/7.

Advice for travellers from the Public Health Agency Credit: PHA

On Tuesday Tánaiste Simon Coveney confirmed two Irish passengers who were on board the Princess Diamond cruise ship, which is docked off the coast of Japan, had been diagnosed with the virus.

The two Irish citizens, who are living abroad, are being treated in hospital in Japan.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe disease. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.