Chinese authorities confirmed on Wednesday that 17 people have been killed in central Hubei province, due to coronavirus already affecting various parts of the country and has so far spread to Taiwan, South Korea , Thailand, Japan and the United States.Affected cases have risen to 444, according to the same sources. Of these confirmed cases, 399 patients are receiving medical treatment in various hospitals, where 71 of them remain in serious condition and 24 are in critical condition. China’s deputy governor, Yang Yunyan, has indicated that some 2,500 people are being subjected to medical examinations, 863 of which have already left health centres. The region has also activated health emergency level II, the second highest in the country. In this regard, a virus management, control and treatment centre has been made available to the population in Wuhan, Hubei’s capital and the epicenter of the outbreak. Several cities in the region, such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul or Sydney, are increasing precautions against the virus, so they have introduced mandatory scans at airport arrival terminals where there could be a greater indication of the disease. On Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Chinese special administrative region has recorded its first two cases, while the death toll in mainland China has almost doubled in a single day. Macau, for its part, has also confirmed a case of the virus in a 52-year-old woman from Wuhan, who tested positive after visiting a hospital in the area, according to local newspaper ‘South China Morning Post’. Two other people traveling with her are currently quarantined. Her case sets out the challenges that the authorities face in monitoring and controlling the spread of the disease, given that women had no symptoms when they arrived in Macau.In addition, a team of experts from China’s National Health Commission has confirmed human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus, which has a possible zoonotic origin, and the contagion of medical personnel. WHO, CONCERNED FOR TRANSMISSION IN LARGE CITIESThe director of the Department of Public Health and Environment of the World Health Organization (WHO), Maria Neira, has pointed out that the main «concern» with the new coronavirus detected in China is that it spreads among humans, especially in those urban centres where a large number of people live, which would increase their expansion more quickly.» The concern is that the virus is spread from person to person. In countries where there is a great human concentration and transmission may be more important. We are concerned about what lethal capacity this virus has, how much mortality it could cause, and how it is transmitted. There are viruses that spread easily, but do not cause mortality. There is much to investigate,» Neira said in an interview on Onda Cero picked up by Europa Press.On the actions to be taken from the international health agency, he said that «it will all depend on the virulence of the coronavirus and its ability to transmission.»» It will need a number of international measures that if approved in the committee will be put in place. If these measures are not approved, they will not be necessary, but we will continue to investigate the possible expansion of this virus if we do not reach an agreement,» he said. Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Clinical signs and symptoms of patients reported in this group are mainly fever, with some having shortness of breath and chest x-rays showing bilateral pulmonary infiltrates.