Coronavirus cases outside China 'concerning' -WHO

(SOUND BITE) (English) WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL, TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, SAYING:

"We should really work hard as one human race to fight this virus before it gets out of control."

The World Health Organization's director-general said on Monday that the spread of the coronavirus to people who had not been to China was "concerning" and could be just "the tip of the iceberg."

(SOUND BITE) (English) WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL, TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, SAYING:

"In recent days, we have seen some concerning instances of onward transmission from people with no travel history to China. The detection of this small number of cases could be the spark that becomes a bigger fire."

So far, the virus has spread to at least 24 countries and territories, with one death in the Philippines.

In China, there have been more than 40,000 coronavirus cases reported, and more than 3,000 new infections there were confirmed on Sunday.

The World Health Organization also said an advance team of international medical experts had landed in China on Monday to help investigate the outbreak.

(SOUND BITE) (English) WHO HOUSE EMERGENCY PROGRAM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DR. MICHAEL RYAN, SAYING:

"The team is there, first and foremost, to learn and to understand, not only the investigations that have been carried out so far in China, but also to understand the nature of what has been one of the largest public health responses in history... But immediately, obviously understanding better issues around the origin, source of the virus. Issues around the severity of the disease. Answering all of those questions."

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has largely kept out of the spotlight amid the outbreak, was shown on state television wearing a surgical mask while visiting a northern Beijing neighborhood, where he spoke with residents.

(SOUNDBITE) (English dubbed Mandarin) CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING, SAYING:

"It is a special period, so I would like not to shake hands... We must have confidence. We will definitely overcome this epidemic."

Xi was also shown getting his temperature taken, as he toured one of the hospitals designated for those infected with the virus.

The death toll from the coronavirus rose to more than 900 this week, surpassing that of the SARS epidemic, as 97 more fatalities were recorded on Sunday - the largest number in a single day since the virus was detected in December.