The new coronavirus strain shares many similarities with SARS as it also began from an unknown source in China.
The first infection was reported in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, in 2019.
Health experts originally traced the epicentre to a busy food market in Wuhan but the virus is now believed to have been contracted from an animal source.
COVID-19 has already proven deadlier than SARS, with more than 1,00 conformed deaths on Wednesday morning UK time.
However, the disease only boasts a death rate of about two percent, compared to SARS.
Although the vast majority of deaths have occurred in China, one person has died in the Philippines.