China Shuts Down Airport and Public Transit in Wuhan Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

By Zachary Stieber

The Epidemic Response Command Center in Wuhan, China, announced they are quarantining the city amid an outbreak of coronavirus, with plans to shut down the airport and all public transit there.

The deadly coronavirus spread to five countries as of Wednesday, but the vast majority of the cases are in China where over 470 have been infected and 17 have died.

Chinese authorities said that starting at 10 a.m. on Jan. 23, public transportation, including the subway and ferries, would be suspended.

“Unless there is a special reason, citizens should not leave Wuhan city,” the Wuhan Municipal City Government said in a statement, a state-run media outlet reported.

“Airports and train stations that can be used to leave the city will be temporarily closed. The closures will continue until further announcement.”

Officials monitor thermal scanners
Officials monitor thermal scanners at a temperature monitoring station at Taipa Ferry Terminal in Macau, China, on Jan. 8, 2020. (Macau SAR Health Bureau/Handout via Reuters)

Coronaviruses “are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement.

Common signs include respiratory symptoms, fever, and shortness of breath. Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

Health experts said the coronavirus that originated in China, which currently has no vaccine, can spread human-to-human, prompting fears of it spreading even wider.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (C) speaks at a news conference following the announcement that a man in Washington state is the first known person in the United States to catch a new type of coronavirus that officials believe originated in China, in Shoreline, Wash., on Jan. 21, 2020. (Carla K. Johnson/AP Photo)

“More cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more in countries outside China, including possibly more cases in the United States. Given what has occurred previously with MERS and SARS, it’s likely that some person-to-person spread will continue to occur,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on its website.

The CDC started screening passengers from Wuhan at ports of entry on Jan. 17.

The novel coronavirus is known officially as 2019-nCoV. The first person outside of China with the virus was a 61-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan who traveled to Thailand on Jan. 8, three days after developing a fever with chills, a sore throat, and a headache, the World Health Organization said on Jan. 14. Cases were detected since then in the United States, Japan, and South Korea, with at least two of the cases originating in Wuhan.

From The Epoch Times