20°C / 22°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 28°C
  • 18°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 27°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 30°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 32°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 30°C
  • 18°C
  • Fri
  • 31°C
  • 19°C
  • Sat
  • 25°C
  • 19°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 18°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 22°C
  • Fri
  • 27°C
  • 23°C
  • Sat
  • 30°C
  • 22°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 18°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 17°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 18°C
  • Thu
  • 25°C
  • 18°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 17°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 30°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 31°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 27°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 31°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 36°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 38°C
  • 19°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 16°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 26°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 29°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 29°C
  • 18°C
  • Thu
  • 31°C
  • 19°C
  • Fri
  • 32°C
  • 20°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 20°C
  • Sun
  • 27°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 28°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 27°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 27°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 19°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 20°C
  • Sat
  • 28°C
  • 20°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 28°C
  • 14°C

From temples to Disneyland, China shuts down to halt virus

The drastic moves come as hundreds of millions of people crisscrossed the country in recent days to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday in a bid to stop a deadly SARS-like virus from spreading further.

FILE: Medical staff members carry a patient into the Jinyintan hospital, where patients infected by a mysterious SARS-like virus are being treated, in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on January 18, 2020. Picture: AFP.

BEIJING – China has quarantined cities and shut major tourist attractions from Disneyland to the Forbidden City and a section of the Great Wall as it scrambles to stop a deadly SARS-like virus from spreading further.

The drastic moves come as hundreds of millions of people crisscrossed the country in recent days to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday, which officially started Friday and is typically a joyous time of gatherings and public celebration.

Here is a rundown of the measures taken so far in an unprecedented quarantine effort:

CITIES UNDER LOCKDOWN

Public transport has been stopped in 13 cities in central Hubei province, with train stations shut, events cancelled and theatres, libraries and karaoke bars closed in some locations.

The epicentre of the outbreak is provincial capital Wuhan, the biggest city on lockdown, where the government has halted all travel out of the Yangtze River metropolis of 11 million.

Wuhan residents have been told to stay home and authorities are limiting the number of taxis allowed on roads. There are few flights available to the city, deepening the isolation.

Factfile on the coronavirus family, which circulate in animals and can be transmitted to humans. A new strain of this virus has been identified in Wuhan, China. Picture: AFP

Similar quarantine measures are being taken in the other, smaller cities. These include strict controls on weddings and funerals, temperature screening of people as they arrive and the suspension of online taxi services.

More than 41 million people in total are affected by the city shutdowns.

FESTIVITIES CANCELLED

Wuhan and Beijing have cancelled public events that usually attract hundreds of thousands of people to temples during the New Year holiday.

Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has asked China's 1.4 billion citizens to forego New Year gatherings and confine themselves at home until all is clear.

To discourage nationwide travel, the government also said all tickets for rail, air, road, or water transport could be refunded.

ATTRACTIONS CLOSED

The historic Forbidden City, a sprawling imperial palace in Beijing that is one of the country's most revered cultural sites, will temporarily close from Saturday.

Other famous landmarks including a section of the Great Wall, the Ming Tombs and Yinshan Pagoda are also not open to visitors.

Shanghai Disneyland said it would shut for an indefinite period "to ensure the health and safety of our guests and cast".

Women's Olympics football qualifiers scheduled for February 3-9 in Wuhan have been moved to the eastern city of Nanjing.

TEMPERATURE CHECKS

Staff in full-body protective suits were seen checking the temperatures of people entering a subway station in Beijing on Friday.

The country has ordered sterilisation and ventilation at airports and bus stations, as well as inside planes and trains, while travellers are being screened for fever.

Health authorities are urging people to wash their hands regularly, avoid crowded places, get plenty of fresh air and wear a mask if they have a cough.

In Wuhan, city authorities have made it mandatory to wear a mask in public places.

In response to skyrocketing demand for masks - starting to sell out at pharmacies and on some popular websites - China's industry and information technology ministry said it would "spare no effort in increasing supply".

A NEW HOSPITAL

In Wuhan, authorities are rushing to build a new hospital in a staggering 10 days as a rising number of patients are infected by the new coronavirus.

The facility is expected to be in use by 3 February and will have a capacity of 1,000 beds spread over 25,000 square metres, according to state media.

Dozens of excavators and trucks were filmed working on the site by state broadcaster CCTV.

Its construction began after reports surfaced of bed shortages in hospitals designated as dealing with the outbreak, which has now infected 830 people across China.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus