The World Health Organization warned that „the window of opportunity is narrowing“ to contain the deadly coronavirus that originated in China as cases in other countries soar.
The virus first originated in the city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, and has gone on to kill at least 2,360 people and infect more than 77,700 people around the world.
It has also spread to at least 30 other countries, though the vast majority of cases and deaths have remained in mainland China.
But some other countries reported soars in the number of cases at the end of this week, particularly in South Korea, where cases ballooned over four days, making it the country outside of China with the most cases.
The government has taken steps including urging the 2.5 million people in the city Daegu to stay in their homes and banning some public gatherings.
Officials are testing more than 9,000 of a religious groups at the heart of one of the outbreaks in South Korea, meaning the number of infected could climb much higher.
Foto: A member of a medical team takes a the temperature of Iraqi at the Shalamjah border crossing between Iran and Iraq on February 21, 2020.sourceHussein FALEH / AFP) (Photo by HUSSEIN FALEH/AFP via Getty Images
And four people have now died of the coronavirus in Iran, where health authorities say it has spread to multiple cities.