Over 2,000 now infected with coronavirus in China

More than 2,000 people globally have been infected with a new coronavirus, the vast majority of them in China, where 56 people have died from the disease, according to figures released on Sunday.

President Xi Jinping said during a politburo meeting that China was facing a "grave situation", as health authorities around the world scrambled to prevent a pandemic.

The virus, believed to have originated late last year in a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife, has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France and Canada.