The HSE has urged the public to familiarise themselves with the appropriate measures in order to protect themselves from the coronavirus:

During a HSE briefing this afternoon, HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid advised people to:

Avoid all non-essential travel to areas affected by the virus;

In terms of hand cleanliness, wash your hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol hand rub;

In terms of coughing and sneezing – cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose of it as soon as possible in a responsible manner;

Wash your hands afterwards;

Avoid touching your nose, eyes, mouth, and face in general with unclean hands;

Avoid contact with anyone who is ill with a cough or difficulty breathing;

If you're ill, stay at home, minimise contact with others especially those with medical conditions the elderly or those who are pregnant; and

Mr Reid urged the public to act on all the advice the HSE are providing, and said people can access the most up to date information at HSE.ie

In terms of preparedness, Mr Reid said over €20 million has been spent on equipment to deal with the virus.

He said over 13,500 kits have been distributed to GPs. These kits include over 4.5 million gloves, and 5 million masks - both surgical and regular.