Jingzhou today became the ninth Chinese city to face a transport ban that has affected close to 32 million people. Authorities announced that all rail services leaving the city would close from 0400 GMT, while public buses, passenger transport, tourism buses, ferries and other boats will temporarily stop operations as well.
The travel lockdown -- which comes amid the Lunar New Year -- reflects mounting fears that the coronvirus outbreak could give rise to a pandemic.
Shanghai Disneyland -- Disney's sixth amusement park and third in Asia -- has announced that it will it would temporarily close from Saturday due to a deadly virus outbreak.
According to media reports, the virus has spread outside mainland China, with cases detected as far away as the United States. While Scotland confirmed that five people were tested for suspected coronavirus after traveling from Wuhan, Hong Kong reported two cases of the virus and Singapore confirmed its first.
"This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said recently, refusing to declare the disease as a global health emergency.
Countries have already increased efforts to stop the spread of the pathogen -- known by its technical name 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) -- with thermal screening of all passengers arriving from China at airports in a number of countries. A total of 12,828 passengers coming to India have been screened for coronavirus infection till January 22 but no positive case has been detected in the country so far, the Union health ministry has said.
Several companies have also begun exploring developing a vaccine for the virus, with hopes that initial clinical trials could be carried out within months.
Wuhan, a major industrial and transport hub of 11 million people in the centre of the country, has been rendered a ghost town by China's imposition of an unprecedented transport quarantine around it and nearby cities.
Wuhan has large number of Indians, mostly students studying medicine in different Chinese universities. While many of them were believed to have left home for the Chinese New Year holidays, others remained in the city to complete their academic work. However, the exact number is not yet known.
The new virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-03.
New Delhi: China on Friday sealed off over 30 million people as it added a ninth city to a transport ban around the epicentre of a deadly virus that has claimed over 26 lives and infected over 800 others. The new virus that emerged in the central city of Wuhan has forced state authorities to cancel Lunar New Year celebrations to prevent the disease spreading further. Since emerging from a seafood and animal market in the central city of Wuhan, the virus has been detected in Scotland, Hong Kong and Singapore. Despite this, the World Health Organisation has said it was too early to declare the outbreak a global health emergency.