Beijing, as well as Shanghai, are just some of the major cities in the world's most populous nation that have become ghost towns amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The Government has declared an extended holiday and has asked residents not to leave their homes for non-essential reasons.
The viral epidemic that has spread across China has surpassed SARs in its number of casualties. The virus has killed over 800 people and infected more than 32,000 people. Most of the cases have come from China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus. Even though the virus originated 1,000 km from Beijing, China's capital, its effects can be felt there.
Businesses like shops, bars, and restaurants have seen a significant drop in customers due to the epidemic. The government has banned mass gatherings and gone to the extent of banning group meals in an effort to contain the virus. Only a handful of the more than 100 restaurants along Beijing's famous food street, Guijie, were open, and the remaining outlets were wondering how long they can hold out.
Amid the growing crisis, a World Health Organisation-led international team is all set to leave for China to investigate the coronavirus outbreak, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. According to media reports, the investigating team will leave for China on Monday or on Tuesday. When asked whether the team would include experts from the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), Pedros said, "We hope so."
Dr Mike Ryan, WHO's top emergency expert, while talking to the press said that there has been a stabilisation in the number of cases reported in the Hubei province of China in the past four days. However, Ryan further added that the decline should not be taken as containment of the disease as the situation can accelerate quickly.
(With Agency Inputs)