The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that it was "too early" to declare the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China a public health emergency of global concern (PHEIC), while warning that the number of cases may rise as many about the virus remain unknown.
The hospital, which is due to open next week, is similar to those established in Beijing in 2003, when the city faced a Sars outbreak that killed almost 800 people and reached nearly 30 countries.
There is no vaccine for the virus, which can spread through respiratory transmission.
The man is believed to have travelled to Northern Ireland from the city of Wuhan at the weekend and is now being treated in an isolation ward.
13 January 2020 The virus spreads cross borders for the first time as Thailand announces their first case, a person who has travelled from Wuhan.
The open-ended openings are unrivaled in size and include more people than New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago combined.
In Wuhan, where the lockdown began early Thursday, normally bustling streets, malls and other public spaces were eerily quiet.
"Obviously, we take very seriously this issue of the coronavirus", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
As of Thursday's press conference, the World Health Organization knows the virus can cause severe diseases that can kill someone, but for most people, it causes milder symptoms. Frustrated residents complained about food shortages.
The coronavirus, which emerged sometime in December 2019, has drawn comparison to the 2003 outbreak of SARS. Already the virus has been collected and decoded from at least 24 victims in Wuhan, Shenzhen, and other cities.
In the latest, the city of Huangshi, which has a population of more than two million, announced Friday it had halted public transport and closed a major bridge.
China broadened its unprecedented, open-ended lockdowns to encompass more than 20.5 million people Friday to try to contain a deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds, even though the measures' potential for success is uncertain.
China's biggest online travel agency, Trip.com, is also waiving cancellation fees on all hotels, vehicle rentals and tickets for tourist attractions to Wuhan and is "actively monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of all travellers".
Beijing has cancelled massive gatherings that usually attract throngs at temples during the New Year holiday, while the historic Forbidden City will close from Saturday.
Chinese officials have said the virus likely originated from wild animals at a seafood market in the city but it has since spread to several countries around Asia and beyond. It has spread to several other countries including the United States.
Professor Murphy said he was confident NSW Health would be able to cope with any confirmed cases.
The seafood market in Wuhan was closed January 1, the day after Chinese health officials reported to the WHO a odd spike in pneumonia cases in the city.
"This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency", WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters after two days of talks in Geneva. We have passed through the "golden period" for prevention and control.
Queenie Choo, who lives in Richmond, said she wouldn't travel to China for upcoming lunar new year festivities but is undecided on whether to cancel a business trip scheduled for next month.