- Since Thursday, Chinese authorities have shut down transit going in and out of Wuhan to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
- Other than emergencies, people cannot leave Wuhan using its buses, subways, or ferries.
- This shutdown comes right before Chinese new year, one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Chinese authorities are shutting down almost all transit going in and out of Wuhan to contain the coronavirus and keep it from spreading further.
Wuhan, a city in China of 11 million people, is at the centre of the deadly coronavirus, which already has a death toll of 41 people. In addition, there are over 1,300 cases of infection. Wuhan is scrambling to build a hospital in response to the outbreak.
Transportation has been shut down since Thursday morning local time – right before Chinese new year, one of the busiest travel weeks when millions are expected to travel around the country. Three billion domestic trips were expected to be made during this holiday season, but officials are taking measures to contain the virus.
Commercial flights are also being shut down to keep the coronavirus from spreading outside of Wuhan and the Hubei province. Other than emergencies, people are prohibited from leaving Wuhan using its buses, subways, or ferries.
Health officials have also advised people to refrain from travelling to Wuhan. The outbreak of the virus could have severe economic impact on the country and the airline industry, as billions are spent on travel, shopping, and food during lunar new year.
There have been at least two confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., as well as in Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Macau, and more. Although commercial flights out of Wuhan are shut down, the U.S. government is reportedly evacuating American citizens out of Wuhan on a chartered plane after negotiations with the Chinese government. Potential new cases of coronavirus are also being monitored.
This coronavirus is in the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which killed over 700 people in 2002 and 2003.
At a special government meeting on the Lunar New Year holiday, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned of the “grave situation” posed by the coronavirus outbreak and promised more measures were coming from the government to address and contain the virus.