The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over the new outbreak.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems.
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has surpassed that of the Sars epidemic, which spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003. BBC
A respiratory virus first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan has now infected thousands of Chinese citizens and spread to a number of other countries.
It has claimed more than 213 lives and prompted Chinese authorities to quarantine several major cities.