Testing of patients in Northern Ireland has resulted in one new presumptive positive result for coronavirus (Covid-19), bringing the total to four since testing began.
In line with established protocols, the Northern Ireland test result has been sent to Public Health England laboratories for verification.
The individual is an adult who had recently travelled from Italy and is linked to a previously confirmed positive case.
Public Health Agency staff are working swiftly to identify contacts the individual may have had, with the objective of preventing further spread of the virus.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: “Further positive cases have been expected and we anticipate the number will increase in the days and weeks ahead.
“Northern Ireland remains in the containment phase and it is important to emphasise that. This will obviously be kept under constant review.
“As has previously been stated, there will not be a sharp transition between containment and delay phases. Many of the actions taken during containment will still continue in any delay phase. Responses may vary between different regions, depending on the circumstances.
“I would again urge everyone to continue doing everything they can to prevent the spread of the virus. All our citizens can play their part in protecting themselves and others. Good respiratory hygiene when coughing or sneezing – Catch it, Bin it, Kill it by putting the tissue into the bin.
“Washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds at a time before touching our mouth, nose or eyes, before preparing food, before eating and after toileting can make a real difference in delaying the spread of the virus.”