Deadly coronavirus outbreak ‘getting stronger’, Chinese health minister admits

Health minister Ma Xiaowei speaks at a press conference on Sunday. (Getty)

George Martin

(Yahoo News) – China’s health minister has warned that the outbreak of coronavirus which has already killed 56 people worldwide appears to be getting stronger.

Ma Xiaowei said that the virus’s ability to spread was increasing and warned that officials were not clear about the risks of the virus mutating.

He added that it was likely the number of cases would continue to rise and confirmed that there have been 2,057 cases of coronavirus globally.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also warned the spread of a deadly new virus is accelerating.

During a special government meeting on the Lunar New Year public holiday he told officials China is facing a “grave situation”.

It comes as the British government warned its nationals to leave he Chinese province at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Foreign Office updated its guidance to “advise against all travel to Hubei province”, which has been on lockdown for several days as China seeks to contain the illness.

But the guidance also added: “If you are in this area and able to leave, you should do so. This is due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.”

It came as the number of people tested for coronavirus in the UK passed 30 – although there are still no confirmed cases.

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