The World Health Organization warns that it appears "increasingly" likely that the new coronavirus can be passed between people in close contact.
The World Health Organization says it appears likely that the novel coronavirus (NCoV) can be passed between people in close contact.
This comes after the French health ministry confirmed a second man had contracted the virus in a possible case of human-to-human transmission.
Two more people in Saudi Arabia are also reported to have died from the virus, according to health officials.
NCoV is known to cause pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure.
World Health Organization (WHO) officials have expressed concern over the clusters of cases of the new coronavirus strain and the potential for it to spread.
Since 2012, there have been 33 confirmed cases across Europe and the Middle East, with 18 deaths, according to a recent WHO update.
Cases have been detected in Saudi Arabia and Jordan and have spread to Germany, the UK and France.
"Of most concern... is the fact that the different clusters seen in multiple countries increasingly support the hypothesis that when there is close contact this novel coronavirus can transmit from person to person," the World Health Organization said on Sunday.
"This pattern of person-to-person transmission has remained limited to some small clusters and so far, there is no evidence to suggest the virus has the capacity to sustain generalised transmission in communities," the statement adds.Continue reading the main storyNCoV cases to dateSince September 2012, 33 confirmed cases of human infection with NCoV18 confirmed deathsSince May 2013, 15 reported deaths in Saudi Arabia, with nine in most recent outbreakTwo cases confirmed in each of Jordan, Qatar, the UK, France and one from the UAEMost patients are male and within an age range of 24 to 94 years
France's second confirmed case was a 50-year-old man who had shared a hospital room in Valenciennes, northern France, with a 65-year-old who fell ill with the virus after returning from Dubai.
"Positive results [for the virus] have been confirmed for both patients," the French health ministry said, adding that both men were being treated in isolation wards.
Meanwhile, the Saudi deputy minister of health said on Sunday that two more people had died from the coronavirus, bringing the number of fatalities to nine in the most recent outbreak in al-Ahsa governorate in the east of Saudi Arabia, Reuters news agency reports.
The Saudi health ministry said that 15 people had died out of the 24 cases diagnosed since last summer.