The United States and other countries have tightened travel curbs and businesses said they were facing supply problems because of the coronavirus in China, a day after the World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency.
With the death toll rising to 213 on Friday, all of them in China, the US warned Americans not to travel to the Asian country, where the outbreak first appeared in Wuhan, capital of the central Hubei province.
Japan advised citizens to put off non-urgent travel to China, Iran's health minister urged a ban on all travellers from China and Britain reported its first two cases of the virus.
Singapore said it was suspending entry to travellers with a recent history of travel to China and suspending visas for Chinese passport holders. The ban, effective on Saturday, will also apply to those transiting Singapore, a major travel hub.
Italy's government decided to declare a state of emergency and stopped all air traffic with China after announcing its first cases, in two Chinese tourists.
China has taken "the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures", a foreign ministry spokeswoman said in response to the WHO declaration. Hubei is in virtual lockdown.
"We have full confidence and capability to win this fight," Hua Chunying said in a statement.
But people were leaving and entering Hubei by foot over a bridge spanning the Yangtze river, a Reuters witness said.
The number of confirmed cases in China has risen beyond 9800, Beijing's envoy to the United Nations in Vienna said.
There have been no deaths outside China, although 131 cases have been reported in 23 other countries and regions.
The WHO has reported at least eight instances of human-to-human transmission in four countries: the United States, Germany, Japan and Vietnam. Thailand said on Friday it too had a case of human-to-human transmission.
Some airlines have stopped flying to mainland China, including Air France KLM SA, British Airways, Germany's Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic. Others have cut flights.
Japan's ANA Holdings said it may consider suspending China flights, media reported, after the airline said bookings for February flights leaving China had halved.
Several foreign governments evacuating citizens from Hubei are holding them in quarantine for the 14-day incubation period of the virus.
A plane carrying Britons and other Europeans left Wuhan on Friday, Britain's embassy said.
Japan, with 14 confirmed cases, said it would take special measures against the virus, including compulsory hospitalisation and the use of public funds for treatment. It has sent three flights to bring citizens home.
The first of four planned flights taking South Koreans home landed on Friday.
China is trying to bring home its tourists stranded abroad, with the state-run People's Daily saying two flights were sent on Thursday, to Thailand and Malaysia.
China's statistics show just over two per cent of infected people have died, suggesting the virus is less deadly than the coronaviruses responsible for the 2002-2003 outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and an episode of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
But economists fear its impact could be bigger than SARS, which killed about 800 people at an estimated cost of $US33 billion ($A49 billion) to the global economy, since China's share of the world economy is now far greater.
With new cases being reported abroad, anti-China sentiment is emerging in some places and manufacturers are scrambling to meet demand for protective masks.
Australian Associated Press