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China locks down coronavirus-hit Wuhan

People wearing face masks walk outside Hankou Railway Station on January 22, 2020 in Wuhan, China

People wearing face masks walk outside Hankou Railway Station on January 22, 2020 in Wuhan, China   | Photo Credit: Getty images

The government is asking citizens not to leave the city unless there are special circumstances, state media said, citing the local government's virus taskforce.

The Chinese city of Wuhan, the source of an outbreak of a new flu-like virus, is closing its transport networks and advising citizens not to leave the city, state media reported on Thursday.

Bus, subway, ferry, and long-distance passenger transportation networks will be suspended from 10 am local time on Jan. 23, and the airport and train stations will be closed to outgoing passengers, state TV said.

The government is asking citizens not to leave the city unless there are special circumstances, state media said, citing the local government's virus taskforce.

Another described being on the “verge of tears” when the de facto quarantine was announced, with the misery compounded by it coming on the eve of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Hours later, authorities in the neighbouring city of Huanggang with a a population of 7.5 million, announced that public transport and train services would be suspended at midnight, while people were told to not leave the city. of 7.5 million. All of Huanggang’s cinemas, internet cafes, and the central market will close. 

A third city, 1.1 million population Ezhou, announced the train station had been closed earlier in the day.

Highways were closed in neighbouring Xiantao, while public transport will be suspended from midnight in nearby Chibi. The two cities have a combined population of around two million people.

As efforts to contain the virus spread, Beijing cancelled massive gatherings that usually attract throngs at temples during the New Year holiday, while the historic Forbidden City will close from Saturday.

More than 570 people have been infected with the virus across China.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 11:18:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-locks-down-coronavirus-hit-wuhan/article30629118.ece

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