A ward for coronavirus patients in China

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday warned of coronavirus “clusters with no apparent link to China”.

Giving the warning, Takeshi Kasai, who is the organisation’s director for Western Pacific, specifically cited local transmissions and said all countries in the region should “prepare for the possibility of wider transmission” of the virus, in a statement released by the WHO.

Malaysia has reported 18 cases of the virus, which the WHO has officially named Covid-19, while neighbouring Singapore’s tally is 47, over half of which are local transmissions.

The Western Pacific Region of the WHO covers 37 countries including the Philippines, China, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.