Two coronavirus cases have been confirmed in France, officially marking the beginning of the virus spreading to Europe.

One of the cases is in Paris, the second is in Bordeaux.

French authorities say there will likely be others confirmed soon.

There are also two confirmed cases in the US and the virus has also spread to Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Nepal.

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Peng Zhiyong, centre, head of the department of critical care medicine, and his colleagues attend to a patient at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan. Photo / AP
Peng Zhiyong, centre, head of the department of critical care medicine, and his colleagues attend to a patient at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan. Photo / AP

China expanded its lockdown against the deadly new virus to an unprecedented 36 million people - and is rushing to build a prefabricated, 1000-bed hospital for victims.

The number of confirmed cases around the world climbed to more than 850, with at least 25 deaths, all of them in China.

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The US reported its second case, involving a Chicago woman in her 60s who was hospitalised after returning from China. She was reported to be doing well.

Transportation was shut down in Wuhan, the city of 11 million at the epicentre of the outbreak, and in at least 12 other cities in central China's Hubei province, encompassing a population bigger than that of New York, London, Paris and Moscow combined.