Patients with the new coronavirus who refuse to comply with isolation restrictions may be subject to a form of forced quarantine based on new plans by the Department of Health, it was said today.
HSE confirmed today that the proposal – similar to the one already drafted in the UK this week – could enter into force here and is subject to a survey by the Department of Health.
There is already existing legislation covering the forced isolation of people with certain infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, dr. Kevin Kelleher, head of health protection in the HSE, told a briefing.
The issue of how to include a patient with coronavirus is now under study, he added.
Anyone with the virus is advised to self-isolate for up to fourteen days to avoid passing it on to others.
Earlier this week the Department of Health denied considering these measures in response to questions from Independent.ie.
A Department spokesman said: “The approach adopted so far in Ireland is in line with WHO and ECDC guidelines.
“The Department is not currently planning any further quarantine or forced isolation measures.”
To date 65 people have been tested for coronavirus here and all have tested negative. Public health doctors have made a mistake out of caution and have a low threshold for deciding to test someone with potential symptoms.