The additional five deaths across all of mainland China brings the death toll to 1,868 in China. "Every scenario is still on the table", he said. "Blanket measures may not help", World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva. Up to this point, the virus is not actively spreading in the United States. Around half of all known cases of the virus outside China have been found aboard the Diamond Princess in Yokohama, where around 400 people have tested positive since the cruise liner was ordered to stay under quarantine off Japan on February 3. Australia's S&P ASX/200 fell 0.3% to 7,106.00.
He added that while the outbreak is "very serious" and "has the potential to grow", a balance must be put in place in terms of the number of people infected, highlighting that a "very, very tiny, tiny proportion of people" were affected outside Hubei province.
The IWF said that Kazakhstan had restricted travel to and from neighboring countries in China, forcing organizers to look for other options.
Outside mainland China, there have been about 780 infections reported in almost 30 locations. The virus caused severe symptoms such as pneumonia in 14% of them and critical illness in 5%.
Tedros also referred to an apparent decline in new cases of the disease in recent days but said that the trend "must be interpreted very cautiously".
That's lower than for SARS and MERS, which are caused by two similar viruses, but COVID-19 ultimately could prove more deadly if it spreads to far more people than the others did. Ordinary influenza has a fatality rate of 0.1% yet kills hundreds of thousands because it infects millions each year.
Most of the new deaths yesterday were in Hubei's provincial capital of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated.
He said there had also been a rapid increase in the number of people who had recovered.
Holland America Line said it is working with governments and health experts to track passengers who disembarked from its Westerdam cruise ship docked in Cambodia after an American woman tested positive for coronavirus in Malaysia.
The ministry has carried out tests on passengers and crew on the ship, docked at Yokohama, a port city near Tokyo.
Even with the disparity in numbers, COVID-19 is dominating the headlines.
"We conclude that it is unfortunately hard to organize the event ... after several cases (of the virus) were confirmed in Tokyo", the Tokyo Marathon Foundation said in a statement.