Ireland is to spend half a million euros as part of global efforts to control the spread of coronavirus.
The money has been allocated to the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is spearheading the international response.
It will be used to support countries in preparing for and responding to the potentially deadly infection.
Tanaiste Simon Coveney said: “The rapid spread of the coronavirus concerns us all. Ireland sends its deepest sympathies to those who have been affected and salutes the work of the dedicated health service professionals who are assisting those communities most impacted.
“While the virus is currently concentrated in China, the WHO assesses that it may spread further and is a particular concern in regions where health systems could quickly be overwhelmed. It is vital to take early, co-ordinated action to prevent further spread of the virus.
To fight further spread of the #2019nCoV outbreak in #China & globally & protect vulnerable states with weak health systems, the intl community has launched a US$675 million preparedness & response plan covering the months of February through April 2020 https://t.co/OR6d4nVfBP pic.twitter.com/JMeqvfRyTz— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 5, 2020
“The Government is allocating 500,000 euro to the World Health Organisation to assist its vital work to help control the spread of the coronavirus.”
He added: “We all share the overriding goal of minimising the impact of this epidemic.”
The outbreak, centred in China, has so far killed more than 490 people, and infected more than 24,000.
The virus has spread to over 20 countries, and following a visit to China by Irish national Dr Mike Ryan who is the executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, the outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern.