The United States has a potential to become the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak amid "very large acceleration" in the number of new cases, spokeswoman for the World Health Organisation Margaret Harris said on Tuesday.
She added that 85% of all new infection cases reported to the WHO are coming from Europe and the United States.
Addressing the virus spread in Italy, which is currently the worst-hit nation in Europe, Harris said there was a "glimmer of hope" for the country, but it is still too early to speak about the disease subsiding.
The official also said that she is expecting the total global death toll to increase considerably as more and more cases are reported to the authority.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States has surpassed 40,000 with more than 500 people succumbing to the disease. The virus originated in China's Hubei province where there are signs the virus has been contained.