WASHINGTON, March 3 (CGTN) - The World Bank Group on Tuesday announced it will provide up to 12 billion U.S. dollars in immediate support for countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus.

"The World Bank Group will help developing countries strengthen health systems, including better access to health services to safeguard people from the epidemic, strengthen disease surveillance, bolster public health interventions, and work with the private sector to reduce the impact on economies," said the World Bank in a statement.

The World Health Organization (WHO)'s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the efforts that the World Bank made and commented on Twitter: "It's so important for all partners to unite, now, against coronavirus".

As of March 3, over 91,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide and a total of 74 countries have been affected with the novel coronavirus, according to the WHO.

The WHO's focus of concern is shifting to countries outside China where COVID-19 is now spreading much faster than within the country.

A number of countries saw an increase of newly confirmed cases on Tuesday, including South Korea with 600, and Italy with 347.