The Philippines has offered to host the event if it is moved from Wuhan ©Getty Images

The Philippines has offered to host next month's Asia and Oceania Olympic boxing qualifier if the event is moved from Wuhan because of a pneumonia outbreak.

Fears over the outbreak, caused by what is believed to be a new type of coronavirus, have grown today after the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed the first human-to-human transmission.

Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO's emerging diseases unit, sought to ally concerns by insisting the organisation had not found sustained human-to-human spread of the virus.

The first case outside of China has also been reported, after a woman in Thailand was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

The latest developments have raised the possibility of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) having to move the competition, scheduled for February 3 to 14.

Ed Picson, secretary general of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, said the country would be willing to stage the event if the IOC has to relocate it.

Picson claimed other countries had also expressed an interest in hosting the tournament.

"We only have a little over two weeks to go," he said. 

"I know there are countries that have offered to host the event in lieu of Wuhan, China.

"We are also thinking about hosting it and I already sent feelers to the IOC task force regarding this. 

"We feel that with the recent staging of the Southeast Asian Games, we have the mechanics in place and the people who can perhaps undertake the hosting."

The outbreak of the disease has thrown Wuhan's hosting of the boxing qualifier into doubt ©Getty Images
The outbreak of the disease has thrown Wuhan's hosting of the boxing qualifier into doubt ©Getty Images

In an update posted yesterday, the IOC boxing task force - set up after it suspended recognition of the International Boxing Association - said "no specific actions or changes to standard travel health advice" had been decided.

insidethegames understand the IOC is in contact with the Chinese Olympic Committee and is prepared to move the event if the situation worsens.

Wuhan is also set to host Group B of the third round of the Asian Football Confederation Women's Olympic Qualification Tournament from February 3 to 9.

According to China's state news agency Xinhua, 41 people have been diagnosed with the pathogen.

A 61-year-old man died from the disease at the weekend, but a total of 739 people who have come into close contact with those affected have been cleared, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said.