'Sealed off': China isolates city of virus outbreak
BEIJING, China — The Chinese city at the heart of a deadly virus outbreak is under effective quarantine, with outward flights and trains suspended, subways halted and large public events cancelled as doctors in full-body protective suits treat patients.
The coronavirus has spread across China and beyond, with 17 people killed and
Most cases are in Wuhan, a major transport hub with a seafood market that has
Authorities announced that flights and trains out of the city will
"Without a special reason, city residents should not leave Wuhan,", the central city's special command centre to combat the virus said, according to state media.
The decision came as hundreds of millions of people are travelling across China for the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts on Friday.
The city's tourism and culture department cancelled all group tours until February 8, Xinhua said.
Tourist attractions and star-rated hotels must also suspend all large-scale activities until that date, it added.
The provincial library and two major local theatres cancelled exhibitions and performances, while four museums have suspended operations until further notice, it said.
City officials had earlier urged people to stay away from Wuhan and for residents to avoid leaving.
The annual prayer-giving at the city's
The hashtag "Wuhan
"Once there's a suggestion of a new development, the first thought is to maintain stability
Comments deemed politically sensitive
Others commended the government's response, with one person saying "we should spare no effort in supporting
Fever scanners were checking passengers at the city's airport and train station this week.
Footage on state broadcaster CCTV showed Wuhan medical staff in full-body protective suits, gloves and plastic face visors as they registered patients.
The patients, wearing normal clothes with face masks, had their temperatures checked as queues snaked out of the consultation room into the corridor.
A prominent expert from China's National Health Commission confirmed this week that
Police have conducted spot checks for live poultry or wild animals in vehicles exiting and entering the city.
The city government announced the series of tightening measures after facing criticism for going ahead with an annual public banquet for 40,000 families at the weekend, despite the spread of the virus.
Wuhan's mayor told state broadcaster CCTV that they didn't then fully understand how the virus
"We are constantly learning more about the epidemic," he said.