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Ministers take part in COBR meeting on Coronavirus

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First Minister Arlene Foster, deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride have participated in a COBR meeting on COVID-19.

It follows a weekend conference call with the Taoiseach and Health Minister Simon Harris to discuss the situation.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “We have had a very useful meeting of the UK Government’s emergency committee with the Prime Minister and colleagues from around the UK to discuss the current situation in relation to the COVID-19 virus.

“I am reassured that the procedures and practices that we have in place across the UK are robust and that the system is prepared for a range of scenarios.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “It is vital that we work together to prevent the spread of the virus, including close cooperation north-south to tackle the issue. We will continue our engagement with Ministers and health professionals in all jurisdictions on this basis.

“We are very aware of the huge effort by staff across the whole health and social care system who are working hard to protect people, and I thank them for everything they have done and continue to do.”

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Northern Ireland is continuing to play an active role in planning for Coronavirus and I have been in close cooperation with my counterparts in both the UK and the ROI to strengthen our approach. We are continuing to prepare for the worst and work for the best and it is important that we continue to remain calm and focused on containment at this point.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: “We have been planning for the first case in Northern Ireland and we have robust infection control measures in place which have enabled us to respond immediately. The risk to individuals in Northern Ireland has not changed at this stage.”

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