A businessman infected with coronavirus faces jail after allegedly lying about his illness and travel history, according to reports.

The man had a fever while he was in Wuhan, China – the epicentre of the deadly virus outbreak – on January 20.

But he took medication to reduce his symptoms ahead of a flight to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, which allowed him to successfully pass thermal screening at the airport.

Now he is suspected to have infected at least one woman and faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 500,000 NT (New Taiwan dollars).

It comes as the Chinese government admitted the virus was getting stronger, as health officials scrambled to prevent a pandemic.

The infection has already spread to the US, Thailand and Europe, with three confirmed victims in France – and “days away from the UK”.

The businessman (not pictured) failed to notify authorities of his illness after travelling from Wuhan, China, to Taiwan

The Taiwanese businessman took a metro train from the airport to Kaohsiung Arena Station, where he was collected by his wife before the couple returned to their home in Zuoying District.

He visited a traditional market on January 22 before dropping into a dermatological clinic later on, Taiwan News reports.

He then spent two hours at the Jin Bali Grand Ballroom, close to the city centre.

It was another two days later before the businessman finally confessed to a doctor he had returned from Wuhan.

Medics at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed he was infected.

It is feared he spread the virus to a hostess at the Ballroom, after she began to show similar symptoms – although she tested negative in a primary examination.

Disease control and prevention workers in protective suits disinfecting residential areas after the outbreak in Wuhan, China

Today, officials confirmed Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office had launched a probe into the man.

He is the fourth person said to be infected with coronavirus.

More than 80 people who had contact with the businessman have since been put under medical observation – including five family members.

China has been accused of lying about the number of people infected amid fears 100,000 could have caught the illness.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned the “accelerating spread of the virus” has created a “grave situation”.