"Based on the gene sequence, the new type of coronavirus differs from SARS [Severe acute respiratory syndrome] and MERS [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome], it has already passed the stage of transmission from animals to humans to the transmission from person to person. Apparently, the virus spread is increasing", Ma Xiaowei said at a press conference.
According to Ma, "experts believe that the outbreak has entered a relatively serious and complex stage."
According to the latest data, there have been over 1,970 confirmed coronavirus cases in China, with the death toll standing at 56. Confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have been also recorded in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Nepal, France, the United States, Malaysia, Australia and Canada.