Amid increasing confirmed cases of “Wuhan pneumonia” and fatalities, the Chinese authorities has shut down the city where the virus began. Wuhan is the capital city of Hubei province with a population of about 11 million. It is the first time for the nation to shut down the capital city of a province.
In an emergency statement released at 2 a.m. on Thursday (local time), the city of Wuhan announced a suspension of bus, subway, ferry and intercity bus services as of 10 a.m. Those living in the city are advised not to leave the city, and airports and train stations have also been closed with no date or time set for the services to resume.
Located in the middle of China, Wuhan is a transport hub that connects nine neighboring provinces. The unusual lockdown comes as the risk of the virus turning into a global pandemic grows.
However, the confirmed cases have increased by 56 to 600 as of Thursday. Suspected and confirmed cases have been identified in 27 Chinese provinces out of 31, leaving only four provinces, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang and Tibet, unaffected. Fears of a global pandemic are growing as suspected cases have also been detected in Mexico, Brazil, Columbia and Canada.
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