South Korea reported 334 additional cases of the new coronavirus today, the largest daily increase yet, as the US State Department issued a new travel warning for South Korea and a joint military drill was postponed.
The new cases bring the total tally to 1,595, the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (KCDC) said.
The daily figure is the largest reported spike in the country since its first case was confirmed on January 20. South Korea also reported its 13th death linked to the virus.
Of the new cases, 307 were in the southeastern city of Daegu, where a church that was at the centre of the outbreak is located, the KCDC said in its statement.
The virus that can lead to pneumonia is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.
Brazil confirmed Latin America's first infection and the new disease - COVID-19 - was also detected for the first time in Pakistan, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Romania and Algeria. China reported 433 new cases on Thursday, against 406 a day earlier.
The US State Department raised its travel advisory level for South Korea and urged citizens to "reconsider travel" to the country.
The US military reported its first case of the coronavirus on Wednesday, in a 23-year-old soldier based in Camp Carroll, about 20 km (12 miles) from Daegu.
There are some 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea, which remains technically at war with North Korea.
The South Korean military has also reported at least 21 infections, and has confined most troops to their bases.
An upcoming "command post training" usually conducted by members of the two militaries' Combined Forces Command will be postponed "until further notice", according to a statement from the combined command.
The US commander in the country agreed to postpone the training after a request by South Korea's chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.
On Thursday, local media reported that a Korean Air flight attendant who has tested positive for coronavirus had worked on flights between Seoul and Los Angeles.
The KCDC said on Wednesday that the crewmember had been on a Korean Air KE958 flight from Israel to Incheon on February 15-16. The passengers included a South Korea tour group from which 31 coronavirus cases were seen to have originated.
But it has yet to release details of other routes and flights flown by the employee.
Yonhap News Agency and other media said she worked on flights KE017 and KE012 on February 19 and February 20 to and from Los Angeles.
Some 30 crewmembers who were on the same flights with her have self-quarantined for 14 days, media reports said.
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States may in the future have to restrict travel to Italy, South Korea and other countries due to outbreaks of the coronavirus but now was not the right time.
South Korea has the most virus cases outside China and Italy and Iran are emerging as new epicentres of the rapidly spreading illness.
Chinese health authorities said the number of new deaths stood at 29 on Thursday, the lowest daily rate since January 28. The virus that can lead to pneumonia has now killed a total of 2,744 people in the country, mostly in the central province of Hubei where it originated late last year.
It has infected about 80,000 people, the vast majority in China, and its rapid spread through countries such as Italy, Iran and South Korea has raised the risk of a pandemic.
As panic increased, Mexican authorities barred a cruise ship from docking at one of its ports over what the ship's company said was a single case of common seasonal flu. The ship was eventually allowed to enter the Cozumel port.
Cruise ships have been in the spotlight after confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the British-registered Diamond Princess approached 700 with three deaths since the ship docked at a Japanese port on February 3.
The United States is managing 59 cases so far - mostly Americans repatriated from the cruise ship in Japan.
Latin America's first case was confirmed in a 61-year-old man in Sao Paulo, Brazil, who had recently visited Italy, a new front line in the global outbreak. The diagnosis coincided with the carnival holiday, a peak time for domestic travel. Brazil's stock index fell over 7%.
Italy reported another 100 cases nationwide, taking the total in Europe's biggest hotspot to more than 400, while the death toll rose to 12.
The outbreak is centred on Italy's industrial heartlands of Lombardy and Veneto, and the government has closed schools and universities, shuttered cinemas and banned public events in an effort to prevent the spread of the highly infectious disease
A hotel in Tenerife in Spain's Canary Islands remained locked down for a second day on Wednesday with more than 700 guests, over cases linked to Italy.
In France, a second person died - a teacher who had not visited any country with a known outbreak.
There have been nearly 50 deaths outside China, including 19 in Iran, according to a Reuters tally.
Iraq on Wednesday banned public gatherings and barred entry by travellers from Kuwait and Bahrain because of the spread of the new coronavirus.
In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for sports and cultural events to be scrapped or curtailed for two weeks as concern mounted for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.