- Chinese villages are cutting themselves off from the world to try to prevent the deadly Wuhan coronavirus from taking hold in their communities.
- Sky News documented six villages about 600 miles from the epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan, in the Chinese province of Hubei who had taken defensive measures.
- Some erected tall brick walls to block roads, with signs saying “No outsiders allowed in.”
- One village had winched in a cabin to serve as a guardhouse at a checkpoint.
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Villages in central China are going to extreme measures to cut themselves off from the deadly Wuhan coronavirus.
Images broadcast by Sky News, featuring the network’s Asia correspondent Tom Cheshire, documented isolation attempts by six villages in the province of Hubei.
The villages visited by Sky were about 600 miles from Wuhan, the city in Hubei where the virus originated.
The virus, known as 2019-nCoV, broke out in Wuhan in December and as of Tuesday had killed 106 people, infected 4,500, and spread to more than a dozen countries, according to China’s National Health Commission.
Handwritten signs suspended over roads into some villages visited by Sky News warned: “No outsiders allowed in.”
“Our village built this,” one villager told Sky News, referring to a tall brick wall across a main road. The villager said the wall was meant “to stop outsiders coming to our village, to reduce the number of people coming in.”
Britain and China will work on a possible evacuation of UK citizens from Hubei province in the next few days.
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) January 28, 2020
In one case a portable cabin was winched into a village in Hubei to act as a guardhouse at a checkpoint. A local resident Sky News identified as Yan Yang said: “It’s because of the epidemic. I don’t know how long it will last.”
“No one knows how the epidemic will process,” the person added. “There’s no policies from the top yet.”
He went on: “I can’t say I’m not worried. But no one has another method.”
While the Chinese government has set up official checkpoints to screen people for the virus, these walls and barriers have been set up without the directive of the government, according to Sky News.
Another image of people building a wall across a main road circulated on Chinese social media on Tuesday and spread to Twitter.
— 全智胜 (@MgOqkzLBRPLCHyN) January 27, 2020
Business Insider has not been able to independently verify the photo from social media.
China’s neighbour Mongolia enforced a ban on people crossing the border from China on Tuesday, according to the country’s Montsame state news agency.
The World Health Organisation convened an emergency meeting with Wuhan officials on Monday but said last week that it was too early to call the outbreak a global health emergency.
- Read more:
- Everything we know about the outbreak
- The Wuhan coronavirus could blow up the game China’s been playing with its economy for years
- This 40-second video shows what it’s like inside a Chinese hospital treating the Wuhan virus
- China has put 33 million people on lockdown because of the coronavirus outbreak. An urban planner says there’s no way to seal off a city.
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