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China’s Wuhan suspends transport services over virus outbreak

23 January 2020 18:52
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China’s Wuhan suspends transport services over virus outbreak

BEIJING. KAZINFORM - Authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan suspended all public transport on Thursday in a bid to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus believed to have originated there, while the virus has killed around 20 people and infected hundreds in the country, Kyodo reports.

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The decision comes as nearly one-third of the Chinese population is expected to travel home and abroad for the Lunar New Year holiday beginning Friday.

Additionally, they asked the city's 11 million residents not to leave the city except under special circumstances, a measure expected to greatly impact people's livelihoods if prolonged.

The municipal authorities stopped outgoing services at the local airport and railway stations from 10 a.m., while the city's subway, bus and ferry services were also suspended, they said.

The nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou also took similar measures, closing off their railway stations until further notice.

Huanggang city, with a population of 7.5 million, will suspend all long-distance transportation from midnight Thursday and close all tourism and entertainment places such as bars and cinemas.

Meanwhile, a Japanese person with severe pneumonia has been hospitalized in Wuhan, an official of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing said Thursday, adding that the embassy is trying to confirm whether the person has been infected by the new virus.

If the infection is confirmed, it would be the first known case among Japanese nationals.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday Japan will step up precautions against the virus.

The government will request airlines to make flight announcements urging passengers arriving in Japan from China to report if they are feeling unwell. «We will make utmost efforts to prevent the spread of infections,» Abe told a Diet session.

Health minister Katsunobu Kato said separately that the country will test samples collected from people suspected to be infected with the virus not just at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases but at clinical laboratories across Japan.

A direct flight from Wuhan to Osaka in Japan scheduled for Thursday, operated by Juneyao Airlines, was canceled, according to the operator of Kansai airport in Osaka. All Nippon Airways plans to cancel a flight to Wuhan from Narita near Tokyo on Thursday afternoon. About 500 Japanese reside in Wuhan.



Keywords: World News, Coronavirus,
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