More coronavirus cases reported outside China than inside: WHO

More coronavirus cases are now being reported outside China than inside, according to the World Health Organization.

And two countries in particular -- Italy and Iran -- are seeing more cases from their own outbreaks spread to neighbors.

Italy, the epicenter of the virus in Europe, now says it has at least 350 cases. At least 12 have died there.

Its so-called 'red zones' -- quarantined towns -- in the north remained on lockdown on Wednesday, with troops and police checking vehicles.

Fear spreading across the country -- as many worshippers wore masks to watch Pope Francis express his support for coronavirus sufferers and health workers.

European countries have reported new infections linked to the Italian outbreak.

In Spain, guests will be holed up in a Canary Islands hotel for two weeks after an Italian doctor staying there was diagnosed -- though at least they're now allowed to use the pool.

And Greece confirmed its first case on Wednesday, while France reported its second death from the virus.

The United States is warning of an inevitable global pandemic and urging its citizens to prepare.

But the World Health Organization disagrees -- saying using the term could amplify fear and stigma, lead to paralysis and suggest that the virus can no longer be contained which, it says, isn't true.

Hundreds of new cases were reported across Asia.

While in the Middle East, cases linked to Iran are still spreading, with Kuwait and Bahrain reporting new infections.

Iran's deputy health minister - seen here mopping his brow at a televised news conference - was among its hundreds of coronavirus infections.