Coronavirus case at Apple's EU headquarters in Ireland

An Apple employee at the tech giant's European headquarters in the city of Cork has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the firm said Tuesday.

"One of our employees in Cork has been confirmed to have COVID-19," Apple said in a statement.

"We are closely coordinating with the local who feel the risk to others is low, and the individual remains in self-isolation," it added.

"As a precaution, we have asked some of our to stay at home while we work with the Health and Safety Executive to assess the situation."

Apple said a deep cleaning programme at all of its offices and stores would continue and it "will take all necessary precautions in accordance with guidance from authorities".

Apple, which has maintained offices in Ireland since the 1980s, employs around 6,000 people in Cork, the country's second-largest city.

Ireland currently has 24 cases of COVID-19 according to department of health figures updated Monday night.

There have yet to be any fatalities from the virus in the Republic, but the government and health service is bracing for further outbreaks.

Last week, thousands of staff at Google's European headquarters in Dublin were told to stay away for the day after one employee reported flu-like symptoms.

And on Monday Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced that annual parades scheduled for the St Patrick's Day festival on March 17 would be cancelled owing to the virus.

"There's a lot about this virus that we don't yet know, but it is possible that we're facing events that are unprecedented in modern times," the premier warned at a press conference.

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© 2020 AFP

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