With China still reeling from the deadly viral outbreak from the coronavirus, the country quarantined almost 20 million people by cancelling all flights and public transport coming in and going out of Wuhan. According to reports, the viral disease has already spread to other countries such as Japan, the United States, Vietnam, Singapore etc.
In an attempt to control the viral outbreak, officials announced that public transport and train services in the city of Huanggang would be suspended alongside an instruction that asked people not to leave the city with a population fo 7.5 million people. According to reports, markets, theatres were also shut down.
According to reports, train services in the city of Ezhou had also shut down with an advisory that restricted people from leaving the city with a population of 1.1 million. Highways in Xiantao and public transport in Chibi was also shut down. Xiantao and Chibi have a combined population of about two million people.
The first case of the coronavirus was confirmed on December 31 and since then confirmed cases have been registered in Thailand, Macau, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, United States, Vietnam and Singapore.
According to reports, the coronavirus originated from seafood and animal market located in Wuhan. The viral outbreak has caused concern because of its similarity to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which claimed the lives of almost 650 people across China and Hong Kong in the year 2002-2003.
The novel coronavirus is a new strain in the large family of coronaviruses (CoV) which was previously not identified in humans. CoV causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). CoV is zoonotic which means such viruses transmit between animals and humans but Chinese health authorities confirmed human to human transmission of the SARS-like virus, creating fears of a possible pandemic.