Chinese healthcare authorities on Monday said the outbreak of a new coronavirus in the country has spread to more cities and a third person has died from the virus, AFP reported.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said 136 new cases of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus strain had been found in the city over the weekend, adding to 62 already known cases. The third death occurred on Saturday, the authority said in a statement. More than 200 people have been diagnosed with the virus.

The virus belongs to the same family of coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which killed nearly 650 people globally during a 2002-’03 outbreak that also started in China. Symptoms of coronaviruses can range from fever and coughing to kidney failure, and in some cases to death.

Meanwhile, South Korea on Monday reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, a 35-year-old female Chinese national who had travelled from Wuhan. Thailand and Japan had also confirmed a total of three cases all of whom had visited the Chinese city.

The World Health Organisation in a tweet said that “an animal source seems the most likely primary source” with “some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts”. However, no human-to-human transmission has been confirmed so far.

The outbreak has cast a shadow over celebrations for Lunar New Year, and stoked concerns about containment of the illness. Hundreds of millions of people in China are expected to travel over the course of the new year period, both within the country and overseas.

A report by MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London
estimated that the number of cases in Wuhan city was likely to be closer to 1,700, than the official numbers. Chinese health authorities have not commented on the report.