Call for more stringent travel restrictions over virus

A professor of experimental immunology at Trinity College Dublin has warned that because the Covid-19 cases in Ireland all originated from northern Italy more stringent travel restrictions to those regions should be enforced.

Dr Kingston Mills told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke that it is good news that there are only three cases of coronavirus on the island of Ireland and all of them are imported.

Currently the Government is advising against non-essential travel to northern Italy. Previously it was limited to nine named towns but that has been extended to the four affected provinces.

Anyone travelling to Italy in the next few days is advised to consult the Department of Foreign Affairs’ website.

Dr Mills said handwashing will mitigate against someone from contaminating a surface but the biggest risk of catching the virus was coming into contact with someone who is infected.

He said he was surprised by the advice stating that you would need to be sitting beside someone for 15 minutes before you need to become concerned about contracting the virus, adding that “15 minutes is a very arbitrary figure.”

Dr Mills siad that if you are sitting beside someone and they sneeze in your face for ten seconds, you are likely to contract the virus.

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Meanwhile, Google workers in Ireland will resume working in the company’s offices tomorrow.

It follows the news that an employee who had been displaying flu-like symptoms tested negative for Covid-19.

It is understood that following careful consideration the company has decided to reopen its Dublin offices.

A majority of Google’s 8,000 employees and contractors have been working from home for the past two days, because of the suspected case and also to test the firm’s capability for having everyone work remotely in case the Covid-19 situation escalates.

The office closures have not impact the search engine’s Sandyford, East Point or data centre facilities.

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