Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health in Ireland
Irish health authorities have officially confirmed the first coronavirus COVID-19 death.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been informed that a patient diagnosed with coronavirus COVID-19 in Ireland has passed away.
This is the first recorded death relating to COVID-19 reported in Ireland. She is understood to have been an elderly woman who had underlying health conditions. She died in the east of the country.
It was also confirmed on Wednesday evening March 11 that there are nine new cases of the virus in Ireland. None of the people involved contracted the virus in the community.
It brings to 43 the number of people confirmed to have contracted the disease in the Republic. More than 60 people officially have tested positive on the island by Wednesday, which was the same day the World Health Organization declared a pandemic.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said in a written statement.
"I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of this patient.
"I urge the media and the public to respect their privacy at this difficult time.
"We continue our efforts to interrupt the transmission of this virus. It will take all of us, collectively to succeed. Please continue to follow public health advice," he said in a statement.
During Wednesday's briefing, the Chief Medical Officer said measures would be taken to enhance and step-up the containment phase.
He said this would involve continuing to emphasise the message about knowing what they can do, the importance of knowing symptoms and knowing what to do if you have symptoms.
It was also confirmed that 250 more staff are to begin conducting contact tracing of people who may have been infected by someone confirmed to have the virus. There had been 60 to date.