Prince William jokes about 'spreading' coronavirus during visit to Ireland

Prince William jokes about 'spreading' coronavirus during visit to Ireland
The Duke of Cambridge after his meeting with Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland, at the Government Buildings, Dublin, during his three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 3, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Prince William has joked about unwittingly "spreading" the coronavirus while meeting well-wishers during his visit to Ireland. 

William poked fun at himself after he questioned a paramedic about whether he thought coverage of the illness was "being a little hyped up" in the media.

His comments came as another case of coronavirus in Ireland was confirmed in the east of the country last night.

There are now two confirmed case of Covid-19 — in the eastern part of the country. The second case concerns a female who had travelled from Northern Italy.

Prince William and his wife Catherine, who are on a three-day visit to Ireland, are taking advice on the coronavirus threat, but will continue meeting people as usual.

William talked about the infection as he chatted to emergency workers at a reception hosted by Britain's Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett in the Gravity Bar at Dublin's Guinness Storehouse.

He asked Joe Mooney, an advance paramedic with the National Ambulance Service: "I bet everyone's like 'I've got coronavirus, I'm dying', and you're like 'no, you've just got a cough'.

"Does it seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment? Is it being a little bit hyped up do you think in the media?"

Later he grimaced with mock horror as he said: "By the way, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spreading coronavirus, Sorry.

"We're keeping an eye on that, so do tell us if we need to stop."

The couple shook hands with dozens of people on the first day of their tour and are expected to continue to do so, based on advice they are being given.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (right) hold a pint of Guinness each during a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during a three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 3, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: James Whatling/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (right) hold a pint of Guinness each during a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during a three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 3, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: James Whatling/PA Wire

William and Kate enjoyed a pint of Guinness at the Storehouse, where he also addressed the guests from the worlds of sport, film, television and the armed forces.

"Ireland is a country that we have both heard so much about, so we are really excited to be here with you to see it first-hand for ourselves," the duke said.

"In coming to the Guinness Storehouse, we are retracing the footsteps of my grandmother, who was shown how to pour the perfect pint here in 2011.

"Ladies and Gentlemen let me tell you it is not often that I find myself following the Queen to a pub."

During the reception William and Kate were introduced to groups of guests, from film and TV, sports, sustainability and environment, creative and cultural Ireland, education and research, the charity sector and uniformed services.

They included Game Of Thrones star Liam Cunningham, who played Davos Seaworth in the HBO series and Misfits actor Robert Sheehan, comedian Deirdre O'Kane and actors Sarah Bolger and Orla Brady.

The outing came after a day of formal engagements to launch their first official visit to Ireland, nine years after the Queen became the first British monarch to visit the country since its independence.

The Duchess of Cambridge pets the President Michael D. Higgins' dog, Brod, at Aras an Uachtarain, Dublin. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 3, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge pets the President Michael D. Higgins' dog, Brod, at Aras an Uachtarain, Dublin. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 3, 2020. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire

 They met Irish President Michael D Higgins at the statesman's official residence Aras an Uachtarain where they discussed the implications of Brexit and talked about building on the foundations of the Good Friday Agreement. 

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