China reported on Wednesday its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in nearly two weeks, lending weight to a forecast by its foremost medical adviser for the outbreak to end by April – but a global expert warned it was only beginning elsewhere.

The 2 015 new confirmed cases took China’s total to 44 653. That was the lowest daily rise since January 30 and came a day after epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan forecast the epidemic would peak in China this month before subsiding.

His comments gave some balm to public fears and to markets, where global stocks surged to record highs on hopes of an end to disruption in the world’s second largest economy

But the World Health Organization (WHO) has likened the epidemic’s threat to terrorism and one expert said that while it may be peaking in China, this was not the case beyond.

“It has spread to other places where it’s the beginning of the outbreak,” Dale Fisher, head of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network coordinated by the WHO, said in an interview in Singapore.

“In Singapore, we are at the beginning of the outbreak.”

Singapore has 47 cases. Its biggest bank, DBS, evacuated 300 staff on Wednesday after a case at head office.

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