The European Union disease prevention agency has raised the risk level for the coronavirus illness from “moderate to high”.
The EU agency’s “red alert” status comes hot on the heels of reports putting the number of deaths worldwide at well over 3,000. More than 90% of these are in the Chinese province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, although there have been deaths in ten other countries.
South Korea has reported nearly 500 new cases, totaling 4,232, in addition to six more deaths.
Indonesia, Iceland, Portugal, Armenia, the Czech Republic and Andorra confirmed their first cases on Monday.
Australia also confirmed its first person-to-person transmission of the respiratory disease on Monday.
Between Monday and early Tuesday, the Chinese authorities reported fifty-two more deaths – bringing the toll in the country to 2,922.