Personal protective equipment packs will be issued to around 3,000 GPs, public health doctors and clinics, as part of coronavirus preparation measures in Ireland.

The Health Service Executive said distribution of the packs will begin tomorrow.

Interim Director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre Dr John Cuddihy said the ability of the virus to transmit from person to person is limited.

He said there is no confirmed case in Ireland and people are extremely unlikely to catch the virus here.

The HSE said that advice for the public is on the HSE website.

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China coronavirus death toll rises to at least 560 
Dept says Irish citizens should consider leaving China

Earlier, the Chair of the Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group and Laboratory Director at the National Virus Reference Laboratory said it would not be unexpected if a case of coronavirus was confirmed in Ireland, but  99% of cases are still in China.

Dr Cillian de Gascun said it was also an important factor that there are no direct flights from China to Ireland.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said the next couple of weeks will tell if China's containment efforts have been successful, adding that there has not been sustained human-to-human transmission in any country outside China since the outbreak, which is positive.

Dr De Gascun said there was still a lot that was unknown about the virus and while there is a lot of fundamental science and information that need to be collected, it is not believed to be readily transmissible from person to person, which is why there has not been a huge spread outside China.

He said that it would be advisable not to undertake non-essential travel to China.

In the UK, a third person has tested positive for coronavirus, according to England's Chief Medical Officer.

Professor Chris Whitty said the individual did not contract the virus in the UK.

The patient is being treated in an infectious diseases unit at Guy's and St Thomas' in London.

It is understood the patient arrived at Guy's Hospital in London Bridge this afternoon.

Two other patients are still being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectious diseases centre in Newcastle.