Officials in Wuhan announced a complete travel ban on its residents amid a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 people and infected more than 550 others throughout China, state media outlet CCTV said on Wednesday.
The ban, which was issued by the outbreak command authority in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, said that from 10am on Thursday, urban buses, subways, ferries and long-distance passenger transport would be suspended in the city.
Flights and trains departing from Wuhan will also be temporarily suspended. The notice did not say when the services would resume.
The notice did not mention private cars but said “citizens should not leave the city unless there are special conditions”.
With a population of 11 million, Wuhan is bigger than London or New York. The virus has now spread to the United States, Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
The ban is to “best prevent and control the epidemic of the new type of coronavirus infection, effectively cut off the transmission of the virus, and curb the spread of the epidemic” to “ensure the safety and health of the people”, the notice said.
The Wuhan municipal government also issued a notice mandating that everyone wear masks in public places, and that staff of state departments and public institutions wear masks while they are on duty.
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