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All-clear for Chinese man who had shown suspected symptoms on flight into Dublin

The Mater Hospital

A passenger displaying potential symptoms of coronavirus, who was escorted off a plane at Dublin Airport over the weekend, has been given the all-clear.

The Chinese man, who had originally travelled from China, was picked up by an ambulance on the runway after arriving on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow shortly after 9pm on Saturday.

He was placed in isolation at the Mater Hospital while a swab was taken and sent to the UCD Virus Reference Laboratory to discover whether he was carrying the infection.

It was found he was clear of the virus and he was taken out of isolation.

The spread of the grave global health emergency led Dublin Airport to activate protocols and staff in protective gear boarded the flight on arrival.

Negative

The UCD lab is now able to screen for the coronavirus and can provide a same-day result.

Other passengers have reportedly said their temperatures were checked before they were allowed to disembark, they had to fill out forms and were told they may be contacted in a few days.

The passengers were allowed off the plane at 11pm.

Fellow passengers, who were advised to remain as isolated as possible, were contacted yesterday and informed the man had proven to be negative.

Asked to comment, the Department of Health said that Ireland had advanced plans in place as part of its comprehensive preparedness to deal with public health emergencies such as novel coronavirus.

"These plans include standard protocols for the management of suspected cases of infectious disease on aircraft and for the follow-up contact tracing of other passengers where necessary.

"These protocols have been developed and are activated in accordance with guidance from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control," it said.

The passenger became the first person in the Republic to be tested for the virus since it began its global spread.

A number of patients have previously been suspected of having the virus but were cleared without going through a test.