China on Friday confirmed it has now imposed travel restrictions on 14 cities, home to tens of millions of people, and to build brand a new hospital within six days in Wuhan, the source of a deadly virus that is sweeping across the country and through Asia.
China has widened its travel restrictions in Hubei province – the centre of the coronavirus outbreak – as the death toll climbed to 26. Nationally, there are currently 830 confirmed cases of patients infected with the virus.
Shutting down china’s cities – is hoped to stop it spreading.
The restrictions will affect at least 30 million people across 12 cities, including the capital Wuhan, where the virus emerged. From 2pm on Friday, Yichang became the 14th city in Hubei province to impose public transport restrictions cancelling this week’s Lunar New Year holiday events.
Wuhan, with a population of 11 million, was suddenly quarantined on Thursday morning, and given a 10am deadline before road, rail and air transport links were halted indefinitely in an effort to contain the virus, a pathogen similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and can spread between humans.
More than 260 hospital rooms have been made available for staff who do not wish to go home for fear of infecting their families.
Taiwan has announced that its immigration authorities will deny entry to Wuhan residents, and the Philippines pledged to repatriate 145 Wuhan tourists who arrived on Thursday.
Road blocks and police blocked entrances to train stations.
Even the Shanghai Disney Resort has “temporarily closed in response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak”.
The US has reported one case and is monitoring dozens of suspected victims, including a student in Texas who has been isolated at home. Italy revealed on Friday that a singer who had been in Wuhan has tested positive for the disease.
Vietnam and Singapore were on Thursday added to the nations recording confirmed cases, joining Thailand, the US, Taiwan and South Korea.
Japan confirmed its second case on Thursday and South Korea its second case on Friday.
On Friday, Singapore confirmed its third case – who is known to be the son of the patient in the first confirmed case.
Cases of the new strain of coronavirus in the UK are “highly likely”, a Public Health England (PHE) boss has said, so far 14 people have been tested in the UK, with nine people awaiting results and five getting the all clear.