The Chinese state official, after an investigation, said that the new coronavirus can spread from person to person, but can be halted with increased vigilance.
The report came after the fourth death from the disease in China while the outbreak has spread from Wuhan to Beijing and Shanghai as well with over 200 cases reported.
Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese pulmonologist who discovered the SARS coronavirus in 2003, said that there was no danger of a repeat of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic that spread and killed nearly 800 people globally in 2002-2003 as long as precautions were taken.
The outbreak was still in its early stages and China had good surveillance and quarantine systems to help control it, he added. However, four cases have been reported outside China – in South Korea, Thailand and Japan.
Earlier on Monday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that an animal source appeared most likely to be the primary origin of the outbreak and that some “limited human-to-human transmission” occurred between close contacts.