The newly discovered strain of coronavirus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December and has since spread to 24 countries, with at least one fatality registered outside China.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China has reached 490, with a total of 24,324 people infected and 892 recovered, authorities said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the regional health committee said that the number of people who have died from novel coronavirus in China's Hubei province had reached 479, while 16,678 are infected and 520 patients had been released.

3,156 new cases of coronavirus were identified in Hubei on 4 February, with 1,967 of them registered in the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the infection outbreak.

"As of 24:00 on 4 February 2020, Hubei Province has reported 16,678 cases of pneumonitis with the new type of coronavirus infection, of which, 8,351 are in Wuhan and 66,764 people are still undergoing medical observation", the health committee said in a statement.

The novel coronavirus, dubbed 2019-nCov, was initially identified in Wuhan in December. Since then, 176 people in 24 countries have been infected with the disease, with one lethal case registered in the Philippines.

As a precautionary measure, several countries have imposed restrictions on traffic with China and introduced security provisions at airports to screen incoming passengers for the disease.