"The monitoring of patients has shown that, on average, the incubation period lasts 10 days. The shortest period is one day, while the longest is 14", Ma Xiaowei said at a press conference.
He added that the coronavirus can be transmitted during the incubation period.
Speaking at the same briefing, NHC deputy director Li Bin noted that mankind's knowledge of this disease was "very limited". There is no data on the possibility of mutations either, according to the official.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in China's central city of Wuhan in late December. Over 1,970 confirmed coronavirus cases have since been registered across the country, with the death toll now standing at 56. Confirmed cases of the new virus have been also recorded in Portugal, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Nepal, France, the US, Malaysia, Australia and Canada.