"And in the past 24 hours, seven countries have reported cases for the first time: Brazil, Georgia, Greece, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan and Romania", he added.
"Yesterday, the number of new cases reported outside China exceeded the number of new cases in China for the first time", the head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday, giving an update on the deadly COVID-19 disease that's spread by a novel coronavirus.
The United States may in future have to curb travel to Italy, South Korea and other countries over the virus, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, but now was not the right time.
About 81,000 people around the globe have now been infected by the coronavirus.
The virus that can lead to pneumonia is believed to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late past year before killing more than 2,700 and infecting about 80,000, the vast majority in China. She was confirmed as South Korea's 31st COVID-19 patient last Tuesday.
The US State Department has asked Americans to reconsider traveling to South Korea while the Indo-Pacific Command has prohibited all nonessential service members and Defense Department-affiliated civilians from traveling to South Korea.
"Viruses don't know borders and they don't stop at them", said Roberto Speranza, the health minister in Italy, where northern towns were on army-guarded lockdowns and supermarket shelves were bare.
On Wednesday, a second person suffering from coronavirus died in France, and another man, who had a travel history to the region, also tested positive for the virus, reported local health authorities.
According to the latest data published by the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) on Thursday, the number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen to 1595, with 334 more cases confirmed.
-The virus is spreading rapidly across Iran.
Of the new cases, 383 were in the epicenter of the city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December. Meanwhile, the USA has around 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea.
With COVID-19 spreading in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia suspended visas for visits to Islam's holiest sites for the "umrah" pilgrimage, an unprecedented move, raising questions over the hajj which starts in July. Shortly after Trump spoke, health officials in the U.S.
COVID-19 has also continued to spread to other areas around the country, with most major cities and provinces reporting cases. The patient in California was not known to have traveled to a country with an outbreak, or be connected to a known patient.
The Catholic Church in South Korea said it would suspend all public masses at more than 1,700 churches across the country in response to the contagion.
Mainland China reported 433 new cases of coronavirus infections on February 26, the National Health Commission said on Thursday, up from 406 on the previous day.
After many countries restricted travel from China to try to prevent the illness from spreading, China itself is now heavily regulating arrivals from overseas.