China has ‘locked’ a more substantial area around the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the contagious coronavirus, on Thursday.
Apart from in Wuhan, measures have already been taken in the places of Huanggang, Ezhou and Chibi. Now Xiantao is also added.
In these cities, for example, large parts of public transport have been shut down. The Chinese government has released 1 billion Chinese yuan (more than 130 million euros) to combat the virus in Hubei province.
According to Chinese state media, there are fewer buses and trains and ferries hardly leave. Many playgrounds, places of entertainment and markets where animals are sold are also closed.
On Thursday it was also announced that capital Beijing would cancel major events during Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated next weekend, for fear of the virus spreading further. The festivities attract many tourists.
The virus has appeared not only in China, but also in many other countries. For example, infections have already been reported in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and the United States. In many cases, these are people who have visited China.
At least seventeen people have died from the contagious corona virus. More than six hundred people have become infected. The virus is related to the SARS virus, killing more than eight hundred people in 2002 and 2003.
The UN World Health Organization (WHO) is considering the virus later Thursday and decides whether it should be seen as an international emergency.