Mary Lou McDonald recovering after virus diagnosis

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Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has tested positive for coronavirus, she has confirmed in a statement today.

Ms McDonald received a positive diagnosis for Covid-19 having been tested on March 28th. She said she has recently suffered a setback in her recovery with pleurisy in her right lung, but that she is no longer infected.

Ms McDonald had tweeted two weeks ago that she had awoken with a “head cold” and would be staying home. Ms McDonald’s children had previously were among those forced to isolate after the virus spread among schoolchildren in Glasnevin, Dublin, the result of an ill-fated school trip to northern Italy in February.

The Sinn Féin leader’s delay in receiving her result is not unusual -- chaotic failures at the 26 County Department of Health have seen thousands of samples sent to Germany for testing in recent weeks.

In a statement, Ms McDonald thanked everyone who has sent their good wishes over the past number of weeks and said she will be “back at work next Monday”.

She said: “Yesterday afternoon, I received a positive diagnosis for Covid-19 having been tested on Saturday, March 28th. The public health doctor informs me that I am no longer infected or infectious, and this is a great relief after weeks of being very unwell.

“I had a setback in my recovery at the weekend and developed post-viral pleurisy in my right lung. I am on medication and responding very well, and I fully expect to be back at work next Monday. My thoughts and solidarity are with everyone who is sick at this time, and my gratitude is with our Doctors, nurses, carers and everyone who looks after us.

“My sympathy is with every bereaved family. I am heartbroken for you.”

She appealed to the public to stay at home.

“My appeal to everyone is to stay safe, stay home and stay apart. You do not want to get this virus.”

“Thanks to everyone who has asked after me and sent good wishes. Your kindness is much appreciated and I’ll be back next week. There is much work to be done - Ireland must change for the better.”

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