An outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new strain of coronavirus was first registered in the Chinese city of Wuhan and later spread to more than 25 countries.

The number of people who have died from novel coronavirus in mainland China has reached 2,004, 74,185 have been infected and 14,376 have been discharged from hospitals, China's health authorities said on Wednesday.

136 new deaths and 1,749 new cases of coronavirus were registered on 18 February.

"At 04:00 on 18 February, 31 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 1,749 new confirmed cases, 236 severe cases, and 136 new deaths (132 in Hubei, 1 in Heilongjiang, Shandong, Guangdong, and Guizhou respectively), with 1,185 new suspected cases", the official statement said.

In Hubei province, the death toll reached 1,921, the regional health committee reported on Wednesday. In total, more than 61,600 people have been infected and 9,128 have recovered, it added. 132 new deaths, including 116 in Wuhan alone, were registered on Tuesday.

"As of 24:00 on 18 February 2020, Hubei Province has reported a total of 61,682 cases of new coronary pneumonia, including 44,412 cases in Wuhan. A total of 9,128 patients were discharged from hospitals. 68,345 people are still undergoing medical observation", the statement said.

The new virus, called COVID-19, originated in the city of Wuhan last December. Outside China, cases of it have been registered in more than 25 countries across the globe. 

The novel coronavirus is thought to have originated at a Wuhan "wet" market. Chinese authorities confirmed it could be transmitted from human to human, but it is not clear yet how easily.