"In recent days, the authorities have posted personnel at airports and train stations in the region to monitor people who have visited Wuhan".
Scientists are baffled by the virus which has never been seen before. On Saturday, Chinese media reported the first known death from the viral infection.
"Wuhan is a major hub and with travel being a huge part of the fast-approaching Chinese New Year, the concern level must remain high", he said in a comment emailed to Reuters. This is the second case of the virus spreading beyond China. A tourist traveling from Wuhan was quarantined last week after landing in Bangkok. The market, which has been closed since January 1, also sold the meat of exotic animals.
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Tests conducted by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases were positive for the new type of coronavirus on Wednesday night.
The WHO said that additional investigation is needed to ascertain the presence of human-to-human transmission, modes of transmission, common source of exposure and the presence of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases that are undetected. Local health authorities are not ruling out the possibility of the disease passing through person-to-person contact, the Sankei Shimbun reported. "The global community is very familiar of what has happened with SARS in the past and this is something that is on our radar, that is possible, and what we need to prepare ourselves for".
The new virus, known for now as 2019-nCoV, was first identified on January 7, about a week after officials first reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, WHO said. She was able to return home on Wednesday in a stable condition.
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With the Lunar New Year approaching, the World Health Organization urged Thai authorities and the public to stay vigilant as an influx of Chinese holidaymakers can be expected, said Reuters.
Other possible cases emerged up in 15 travellers who returned to Hong Kong and following visits to the city in Hubei province. There have also been suspected cases in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.
"Laboratory testing subsequently confirmed that the novel corona virus was the cause", World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said, referring to the case in Thailand. SARS killed hundreds of people in Hong Kong and mainland China from 2002 to 2003.
The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the spectre of Sars, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.
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