Chinese President Xi Jinping

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned 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.

On the reason for the expected new cases, Jasarevic said that they would appear as China steps up monitoring.

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“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.

Similarly, Taiwan on Tuesday confirmed the first case of infection from the new coronavirus, a woman in her 50s who had returned to the island after working in the Chinese city of Wuhan where the outbreak began.

The Taiwan Centres for Disease Control said the woman, from southern Taiwan, had returned to the island on Monday and had been sent to the hospital from the airport after showing symptoms such as fever and coughing.

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It however advised people not to panic, saying the woman had been identified as soon as she arrived in Taiwan.

Taiwan has already alerted China and the WHO about the case, the government added.

The outbreak has spread from the central Chinese city of Wuhan to cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

Other cases have also been reported outside China, including in South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Taiwan, which has close economic and people-to-people links with China in spite of political tensions between the two sides, on Monday set up an epidemic response command center to coordinate the island’s response to the virus.

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Taiwan has also prepared more than 1,000 beds in isolation wards in case the virus spreads further.