As deaths mount in the city, officials imposed a number of new measures including the postponement of New Year celebrations in Wuhan, a ban on tour agencies from bringing groups of people out of the city and thermal monitors and screening in public spaces.
The illness comes from a new coronavirus, not been previously identified in humans.
Wuhan city officials reportedly ordered city buses and boats to temporarily stop operating.
Health officials urged people in the city to avoid crowds and public gatherings.
The virus originated in a seafood market that "conducted illegal transactions of wild animals", authorities said.
The pathogen appears to be a never-before-seen strain of coronavirus - a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003.
So far, the virus appears less risky and infectious than SARS, which also started in China in 2002-03 and killed about 800 people.
According to sources, China's National Health Commission (NHC) had confirmed 291 cases till Monday, January 20, 2020. He said, "There has already been human-to-human transmission and infection of medical workers".
Doctor Nathalie MacDermott of King's College London said it is likely the virus can spread through the air through sneezing or coughing.
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In the USA, authorities said a man in his 30s near Seattle, who had recently travelled from Wuhan, was free from symptoms when he arrived at Seattle-Tacoma airport last Wednesday but contacted doctors Sunday when he started experiencing flu-like symptoms. The WHO set up an emergency committee to assess whether MERS should be declared a PHEIC, but it concluded after meeting several times that the disease did not constitute a global health emergency.
In recent days, evidence has surfaced suggesting that this virus can be transmitted between humans in addition to humans from animals, though public health officials say the human-to-human transmission appears to be limited in nature.
An emergency committee for the World Health Organization (WHO) today had a tie vote on whether to recommend sounding the loudest alarm available in response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus that has spread from Wuhan, China, throughout that nation and to at least four other countries.
"So we've increased the screening at those airports for people just to be aware", Henry said.
In Thailand, authorities have introduced mandatory thermal scans of passengers arriving at airports in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi from high-risk areas in China.
Professor Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, told AFP that the fact that the virus seems milder in the majority of people is "paradoxically more worrying" as it allows people to travel further before their symptoms are detected.
All of those cases involved people who had either come from or been in Wuhan recently.
Chinese health officials have confirmed it has spread between humans, warning that it may mutate to become even deadlier. But patients have been diagnosed across China, including in Beijing and Shanghai.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a news conference in Geneva, on January 22, 2020.