THE FIRST coronavirus death in Ireland has been reported in the east of the country.
The patient is believed to be an elderly woman with an underlying illness who recently contracted the new virus.
The victim, who was being treated in hospital, is the first person in Ireland to die from COVID-19.
Neither the patient or the hospital she was being treated in have been named in order to protect patient confidentiality.
The National Public Health Emergency Team released a statement in which they confirmed the death and that is is the first of its kind in Ireland.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said:
"I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of this patient.
"I urfe 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."
Both the Republic of Ireland and the North have been excperiencing a rising number of coronavirus cases in recent days, from people returning from holidays in affected areas and cases of community transmission.
While the Government have not released details of specific counties affected, it is known that the virus is now present in the south, west, east and north of the country.
Minister for Health Simon Harris, speaking on RTE's Prime Time yesterday evening, admitted that more restrictions, including the closure of schools nationwide, may be needed to delay the spread of the virus, and warned that "We are going to see a lot more cases here".