WHO expects further spread of new coronavirus in China

Passengers wearing masks are seen at Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday that the new coronavirus was likely to spread to other parts of China and possibly other countries in coming days.

“More cases should be expected in other parts of China and possibly other countries in the coming days,” said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic. So far in China, the virus has mostly been concentrated in Wuhan city, where it is thought to have emerged from a seafood market, although isolated cases have also been reported in Shanghai and Beijing.

Asked by Reuters about the reason for the expected new cases, Jasarevic said that they would appear as China steps up monitoring. “If you increase surveillance and testing you are likely to get new numbers,” he added.

All international cases are thought to be linked to the original outbreak cluster in Wuhan. The WHO does not advise travel restrictions at this time.

Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Alison Williams and Andrew Cawthorne