A total of 131 new confirmed and 257 new suspected cases were reported Wednesday, the NHC said.
Overseas, one case has been confirmed in the regions of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, as well as in the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea respectively, and three in Thailand.
A total of 5,897 close contacts have been traced, the commission said, adding that among them, 4,928 are under medical observation while 969 others have been discharged.
The local government of Wuhan announced that all public transportation in the city — local buses, long-distance buses, subway and ferry — will be temporarily closed starting at 10am on Thursday.
All flights and trains scheduled to depart from Wuhan also will be temporarily canceled to reduce the risk of spreading the new virus, the government said.
Residents in Wuhan were suggested not to leave the city if there is no particular reason, according to the announcement.
Based on the current knowledge, the incubation period of the virus can be as long as about 14 days, according to a prevention and control plan released Wednesday by the NHC.
The outbreak of viral pneumonia has a relatively low chance of infecting young children based on current understanding of the pathogen, Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.
Wild animals sold at a seafood market in Wuhan could be the source of the outbreak, Gao said, adding that Chinese scientists have cultured, isolated and analyzed the genetic makeup of the microorganism, which is a key step in understanding the new strain of coronavirus and producing a vaccine.
The exact animal carrier is still being investigated even as the virus undergoes adaptations and mutations, he said, adding that, "It is like a cat-and-mouse game. Our understanding of the virus will deepen with further research."
潜伏期 incubation period
密切接触者 close contact
医学观察 medical watch/medical observation
疑似病例 suspected case
确诊病例 confirmed case