China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Sunday that the new coronavirus is contagious even in its incubation period, which lasts up to 14 days, and that the virus’ ability to spread is getting stronger.

The South China Morning Post reports Ma Xiaowei, the minister in charge of the NHC, told a press briefing that” the authorities’ understanding of the virus was “limited” and they were also unclear on the risks posed by possible mutations”.

“The outbreak is expected to continue for some time,” he said.

According to the report more than 2,070 people have been infected with the new coronavirus and 56 killed since the outbreak was first reported in December.

“National Health Commission says understanding of infection remains limited, but its ability to spread is getting stronger.

“More than 1,350 medics had already arrived in the city to help battle the epidemic and a further 1,000 would follow, he said.

“More than 1,300 extra doctors and nurses have been deployed to Hubei to help battle outbreak, with 1,000 more to follow soon.

“He also reiterated earlier reports that people infected with the virus might not immediately show any symptoms.
The vice-minister for industry and information technology said China was pursuing various channels, “both at home and overseas, to source the required supplies”.
Another report, headlined ‘Fear is also infectious: how coronavirus outbreak is unsettling a nation’ says the “deadly epidemic has people across the country heading for the safety of the countryside, or stockpiling supplies and battening down the hatches”.
The Wuhan Huanan South China seafood market where it is believed coronavirus may have made the jump to humans

“In less than a month China has been overwhelmed by an outbreak of a previously unknown Sars-like coronavirus”.

“Just a week ago, the government of Wuhan – the city at the centre of the crisis – described the new virus as “preventable and controllable”. The city of 11 million people, like many others in Hubei, is now in total lockdown,” the report added.
“Hospitals across the province are full of suspected patients and doctors are being pushed to their limits.
“Outside the main danger area, people in other parts of China are closely monitoring events while doing their best to get on with their lives as normal.
“People are understandably worried about the epidemic, and are being told to keep away from crowds.
“Other people fear the outbreak will get worse when people travel back to where they work after the holidays.”