A PATIENT at Cork University Hospital (CUH) has been placed in an isolation unit amid concerns he could have coronavirus.
Sources have told The Echo that an Irish man, aged in his early-to-mid 20s, who recently returned from China, presented at the hospital with symptoms similar to those of the virus.
It's understood he presented at Cork University Hospital and was assessed at the Medical Assessment Unit.
This assessment raised fears that he could have coronavirus and he was placed in isolation. Tests are ongoing.
The Department of Health was contacted for comment on the suspected case but said there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ireland.
The Department did not confirm or deny if a suspected case was being assessed at CUH.
The case in Cork comes amid reports of a woman being placed in isolation in University Hospital Kerry (UHK) after presenting with symptoms similar to those of the coronavirus.
It is understood that the woman presented with respiratory problems and was immediately placed in isolation as a precautionary measure.
Reports suggest that while the woman is quite ill, her condition is not thought to be life-threatening.
A spokesperson for the Department told The Echo: “To date, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Ireland.
“The Department does not comment on individual cases, other than confirmed cases.
“Ireland is well-positioned to detect and respond to a case of novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that might arise here,” she added.
It emerged today that Ireland is to spend half a million euros as part of global efforts to control the spread of coronavirus.
The money has been allocated to the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is spearheading the international response.
It will be used to support countries in preparing for and responding to the potentially deadly infection.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney said: "The rapid spread of the coronavirus concerns us all. Ireland sends its deepest sympathies to those who have been affected and salutes the work of the dedicated health service professionals who are assisting those communities most impacted.
"While the virus is currently concentrated in China, the WHO assesses that it may spread further and is a particular concern in regions where health systems could quickly be overwhelmed. It is vital to take early, co-ordinated action to prevent further spread of the virus.
"The Government is allocating 500,000 euro to the World Health Organisation to assist its vital work to help control the spread of the coronavirus."
He added: "We all share the overriding goal of minimising the impact of this epidemic."
The outbreak, centred in China, has so far killed more than 490 people and infected more than 24,000.
The virus has spread to over 20 countries, and following a visit to China by Irish national Dr Mike Ryan who is the executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, the outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern.