New cases of deadly novel coronavirus have been detected in China as the virus spreads to Beijing and Shenzhen outside Wuhan city. The virus was first reported in Wuhan in late December last year. Chinese authorities have reported 139 new cases in Wuhan in last two days, taking the total number of confirmed cases in there to 198. This is raising concerns about the containment of the virus. Two cases have been detected in Beijing and one case has been detected in Shenzhen in the southern province of Guongdong. Authorities have confirmed death of three persons form the virus till now. Confirmed cases of infection with the new coronavirus have also been found in Thailand and Japan. There have been 90 suspected cases reported in Hong Kong and some suspected cases in Vietnam and Singapore also. The US and most Asian countries have stepped up screenings of travellers from Wuhan. 

Meanwhile, China’s National Health Commission said the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus is controllable. This was the first statement from the body since the outbreak was reported. It said that close monitoring was needed given that the source, transmission and mutation methods of virus were unknown. It added that it will step up monitoring during Chinese Lunar new year, when much of China’s population will travel to celebrate the holiday next week.

World Health Organization (WHO) has also advised hospitals worldwide to be prepared for any emergency. It said the number of cases rose because of "increased searching and testing". It added that people could reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus by taking measures such as avoiding "unprotected" contact with live animals, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs, and avoiding close contact with anyone with colds or flu-like symptoms.

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