More than 900 people have now died in mainland China from the coronavirus that emerged in the central city of Wuhan at the end of last year with the World Health Organization (WHO) deploying a team to the country to investigate the outbreak.
China’s National Health Commission reported there were 97 new fatalities from the virus on February 9, which brought the death toll on the mainland to 908, most of which are in Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province.
A total of 40,171 infections have been confirmed nationwide.
At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. Major airlines have suspended flights to and from China in an attempt to stop the spread.
With more cases being discovered across the world WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also noted there were “concerning instances” of the spread of the virus among people with no travel history to China. He urged countries to prepare for the possible arrival of the infection, but urged people to remain calm.
Two deaths have been recorded outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there had been “concerning instances” of coronavirus among people who had no history of travelling to China and urged all countries to prepare for the possible arrival of the virus.
“The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries; in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg,” Tedros said in a series of tweets on Monday morning.
Announcing an advance team for a WHO-led international expert mission to China led by Dr Bruce Aylward, a “veteran of past public health emergencies” was on its way to the country, he urged countries to share their knowledge about the virus with the agency in real-time and to remain calm.