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Teenager arrested in connection with coughing on people for 'corona challenge'

A teenage boy has been arrested in Waterford in connection with an investigation into people coughing on others on purpose.

He was picked up for a public order offence in Dungarvan on Monday.

Separately, a nurse says a group of teenagers surrounded and coughed on her while she was out for a run in Clontarf in Dublin.

And gardaí are investigating reports of a man coughing into the face of an elderly couple in Co Kildare.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says gardaí have the power to act on this so-called ‘corona challenge’.

"I don't come from a totalitarian or authoritarian perspective here because I believe the gardaí are there to help, they're there to assist, they're there to support, they're there to advise," he said.

"If more is needed we have the law and that's why the Dail sat last week to give emergency powers in terms of assisting further the gardaí to enforce the new regime should they deem it necessary."

[ul][b]Useful information[/b] [li]The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here [/li] [li]Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;[/li] [li]GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.[/li] [li]ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024[/li] [/ul]