November 24, 2020

China coronavirus: Lockdown measures rise across Hubei province

Lockdown measures are increasing across China’s Hubei province to try to control the spread of a new virus that has left 18 people dead in the country.

Wuhan, Hubei’s capital of 11 million people where the virus first emerged, has no trains or planes in or out.

At least five other provincial cities are seeing clampdowns on transport.

There are more than 500 confirmed cases of the virus, which has spread abroad, with Singapore and Vietnam the latest affected.

Thursday’s events as they happened
The new strain of coronavirus is believed to have originated at a market in Wuhan. One resident of the city said the atmosphere there felt like “the end of the world”.

The lockdowns come as millions of Chinese people travel across the country for the Lunar New Year holiday.

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All the fatalities bar one so far have been in Hubei province. Most of the 17 victims there were elderly and suffered from other chronic diseases including Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.

An 18th victim, an elderly patient, was announced on Thursday in Hebei province, near the capital, Beijing.

Wuhan’s public transport lockdown came into force as of 10:00 local time (02:00 GMT), leaving normally busy train stations and airports empty.

One Wuhan resident said on social media site Weibo that people were on the “verge of tears” when they heard about the closures.

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