Coronavirus outbreak: three China cities in lockdown
In an unprecedented move, China has extended a lockdown to two more cities beyond Wuhan, effectively cutting off 18 million residents from public transport and public entertainment.
The new coronavirus strain first originated in the city of Wuhan just before the New Year.
All flights, subway, bus and train services have been suspended in Wuhan and similar measures will be enforced in the cities of Huanggang and Ezhou from Friday.
All the cities are located in Hubei province.
Entertainment centres and theatres were also ordered to close for the foreseeable future.
The death toll is now at 25 with nearly 800 confirmed cases.
In addition all Wuhan residents must wear face masks in public.
Travel in and out by private car is still permitted.
“To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science,” Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization’s representative in China, told The Associated Press.
“It has not been tried before as a public health measure. We cannot at this stage say it will or it will not work.”
In Beijing, all ‘major events’ are suspended indefinitely, which includes those for the Chinese New Year holidays, and The Forbidden City will close on Saturday.
Vietnam and Singapore are the latest countries to confirm new cases of the still little known coronavirus strain.