He made the comments following confirmation tonight that a patient who travelled through Dublin Airport in recent days has tested positive for the virus.
The patient in Belfast contacted his GP and put himself into isolation where he is getting specialist care.
“We just have to get on with it now,” Dr Sheehan said.
“Once levels go over a certain number, it will move from the containment phase to the management phase. Europe is still in the container phase at present but we will see that change. There is no point trying to contain it once it has spread.”
Dr Sheehan said the important thing was not to panic.
“For more people, it will be like a bad flu and those vulnerable need to be extra cautious.”
Elderly advocate Paddy O’Brien said the situation is very tough on elderly people at the moment and the community is very nervous about the disease.
He advised people not to panic and asked family and friends to be more vigilant and observant of elderly relatives or neighbours and to inform them of what is going on.
Cork Airport has said it is too early to speculate what impact, if any, the Coronavirus will have on its operations in the short term as news of the first Irish case was confirmed.