By Ciarán Sunderland
Health officials have confirmed one new case of coronavirus in Ireland.
The patient is male, in the east of the country and “associated with travel” from northern Italy.
The confirmed case this evening brings the total to 19 confirmed cases in Ireland.
The HSE is now working to to identify any contacts the patient may have had and to provide them with advice to prevent further spread.
The new confirmed case follows the announcement that visitor bans are to remain in place at a number of Irish hospitals due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Elective surgeries and outpatient appointments on Monday and Tuesday at six hospitals across Limerick, Clare and north Tipperary have been cancelled.
The Irish Patients Association says people need to stop blaming others when it comes to coronavirus.
The IPA Director, Stephen McMahon, said some are taking to social media to post negative and hurtful comments, about people who have contracted the virus.
McMahon says anyone with coronavirus is a patient who needs care, not online abuse.
He said: “Once they are a patient they are on our turf, and they need to be treated with dignity and respect.
It’s not their fault that they have caught this virus.
McMahon added: “It is not a question of fault, its just nature being nature…We have to be caring in the way that we actually look after those who are falling victim to this.”