SEVENTEEN people have died from coronavirus as more than 470 cases of the killer strain were confirmed, officials have said.
Latest figures reveal 471 cases in China, with four in Thailand, two in Hong Kong and one each in the US, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
The virus could be declared a global health crisis today after cases of the mystery bug increased from 300 in one day.
It comes as British experts said up to 10,000 people could already be infected amid fears the death rate is currently the same as the Spanish flu epidemic, which killed millions after World War I.
The WHO is holding an Emergency Committee meeting in Geneva today, to determine if the outbreak should be classed as a global crisis, like the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014-15.
Deputy Director of the National Health Commission Li Bin said that all deaths had been in the Hubei province, home to Wuhan city where the first illnesses from coronavirus were reported in late December.
The Central Hospital of Wuhan showed staff in hazmat suits attending to patients infected by the virus.
Staff at the Department of Respiratory and Critical Medicine were pictured with clenched fists as a sign of determination.