China locks down 13 cities as coronavirus death toll rises (VIDEO)

(с) The Chinese disease prevention authority
(с) The Chinese disease prevention authority

China broadened its lockdown to include at least 13 cities as it strives to contain a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

China has attempted to stymie the spread of the virus by enforcing large-scale quarantines around the epicenter of the outbreak even as millions of people prepare to travel for the Lunar New Year, Time reported.

In central China, transport links have been shut in at least 13 cities in Hubei province. Outbound trains and flights from Wuhan have been suspended.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) International Health Regulations Emergency Committee experts have recommended that all countries get ready for the further penetration of the coronavirus and take measures in advance.

"It is expected that further international exportation of cases may appear in any country. Thus, all countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of 2019-nCoV infection, and to share full data with WHO," the message reads.

The coronavirus, which was first discovered in China, was also identified in Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, and Japan. Still, WHO has refrained from declaring an international emergency over the new pneumonia outbreak in China.

Earlier reports indicated 849 infection cases. At the moment of the publication, two out of 26 lethal cases were identified beyond the initial outbreak region: in the Hebei province and the Suihua city, located some 430 km from Russian border. According to Friday morning reports, the medical condition of 177 patients is deemed serious, while 34 patients recovered and were discharged from medical facilities. That said, 1,072 new suspected cases were identified.