In a bid to take precautionary measures, China has locked down five cities on January 24, including Wuhan, suspending all public transport to contain the deadly virus that has infected more than 830 people and left 25 others dead, as per reports. It also cancelled the celebrations of Lunar New Year recently. Chinese authorities announced the suspension of public transport in five cities - Huanggang, Ezhou, Zhijiang, Qianjiang and Wuhan in Hubei province on Thursday evening, according to the official media reports.
The decision has been made after the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee meeting on the night of January 22. WHO’s Director-General, in a statement, said that there was an ‘excellent discussion’ during the committee meeting and was ‘very impressed’ by the detail and depth of China’s presentation. The decision over declaring it a public health emergency has not been made. The Director-General said that he will decide after appropriate consideration of all the evidence.
China placed its city, Wuhan, the centre of coronavirus epidemic under effective quarantine on January 23 with trains and flights suspended, subways halted and large events called off as doctors with their full-body protective gear treat the patients. It is a drastic step taken by the government to prevent the contagious disease that has killed 17, affected hundreds and reached other countries.
The authorities in Wuhan, a major transport hub with seafood market suspended public buses and subways and ordered that the residents should not leave the city of 11 million people "without any proper reasons". Over 830 people have been reportedly affected with the virus across China and the move is aimed at "effectively cut off the virus spread, resolutely curb the outbreak and guarantee the people's health and safety", the circular said according to a Chinese news agency. The decision was taken amid hundreds of people are travelling across China for the Lunar New Year holiday, that starts on Friday. The city's tourism and culture department cancelled all group tours until February 8, as per the reports. The mayor of the city of Wuhan in China has reportedly urged citizens not to travel outside China during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday that witnesses the largest annual migration of the citizens.