On Thursday, the White House said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the coronavirus outbreak in China and "remains consistently vigilant" about preventing a widespread outbreak in the U.S.
Reflecting the concerns raised by the coronavirus, airports across South Korea have set up checkpoints to screen passengers from China and other countries for signs of illness, with local authorities accelerating quarantine efforts to contain the virus as people visit relatives at home or travel overseas.
Mr Ma said the incubation period for the coronavirus can range from one to 14 days, and that the virus is infectious during incubation, which was not the case with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars), a coronavirus that originated in China and killed almost 800 people globally in 2002 and 2003.
Japan will evacuate "by every means" its nationals who are in Wuhan City, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in China's Hubei province. Tianjin in the north, Shanto in the south, Xian in the northwest, and the capital Beijing have all banned long distance buses from entering and leaving.
The outbreak has overshadowed the start of the Lunar New Year, which is typically a festive time of year, with public events cancelled and many tourist sites shut.
The professor spoke following a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency committee in Whitehall on Friday, chaired by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Saturday's Lunar New Year celebrations were dampened in China by fears over the coronavirus outbreak and travel restrictions affecting 46 million people.
The infectious disease was discovered from a cluster of pneumonia outbreaks in the central city of Wuhan, China.
As of Sunday, more than 2,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide from the outbreak, and 56 people have died, including a 62-year-old doctor at a Wuhan hospital who contracted the virus from a patient, state media reports. "It's unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people", the CDC said. It said that of those infected, 324 were in critical condition.
Health workers stressed citizens should follow strict personal hygiene rules whether they are in the country or traveling overseas, especially since large numbers of Chinese tourists are visiting South Korea during the holiday period.
Hong Kong's popular amusement parks Disneyland and Ocean Park are closed from January 26 to help prevent the spread of a deadly coronavirus that broke out in the Chinese city Wuhan, state media CCTV reported on Sunday. The city has said another hospital was expected to be completed February 3.
A fifth case was confirmed Sunday in Arizona, the CDC reported. Schools in Hong Kong that are now on Lunar New Year holidays will remain closed until Feb 17.
On Saturday, Canada declared the first "presumptive" confirmed case of the virus in a resident who had returned from Wuhan. The patient, a male in his 50s, arrived in Toronto on Jan 22 and was hospitalised the next day after developing symptoms of respiratory illness, officials said.
The U.S. has confirmed cases in Washington state, Chicago, and most recently Southern California.
"At this time, it's unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people", the CDC said.
Airports around the world have stepped up screening of passengers from China, although some health officials and experts have questioned the effectiveness of such screenings. Several other countries in Asia have reported cases as well.