The death toll from the outbreak of a new SARS-like virus in China has increased to four, Chinese authorities say.
Health authorities in the city of Wuhan, in central China, said on Tuesday that an 89-year-old man had become the fourth person to die from the virus, adding that 15 medical staff had been infected as well.
The Chinese government announced on Tuesday that it was classifying the outbreak in the same category as the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which claimed the lives of about 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The classification means compulsory isolation for those diagnosed with the disease and the potential to implement quarantine measures on travel.
A second case was reported in Shanghai on Tuesday, while five people have been diagnosed with the disease in Beijing.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet on Wednesday to consider declaring an international public health emergency as China confirmed the coronavirus spreads by human-to-human contact.
The virus has infected more than 200 people in China and spread to Japan, Thailand, and South Korea, with a total of four people having been hospitalized after visiting Wuhan, where a seafood market is believed to have been the epicenter of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, public broadcaster ABC reported Tuesday that a man in Australia had been put in isolation as he showed symptoms of the new disease after he traveled to Wuhan, adding that health officials were awaiting test results.