WHO officially declares Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic
There are currently 52 confirmed cases on the island of Ireland.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially declared the outbreak of coronavirus a pandemic.
There are now over 118,000 cases of Covid-19 in 114 countries around the world.
"Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation said.
"Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.
"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus."
On Wednesday, Ireland recorded its first death from coronavirus when an elderly woman with underlying health conditions died in the east of the country.
The total number of cases on the island of Ireland stands at 52.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 11, 2020
Adhanom Ghebreyesus was critical of the response from some countries to the outbreak.
"Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled," he said.
"The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will.
"Some countries are struggling with a lack of capacity. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resources. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resolve."