Huanggang has become the second Chinese city to go into lockdown following the closure of Wuhan, as authorities step up efforts to halt the spread of a new coronavirus that originated in the latter in December and has now killed 17 people and infected 571.
“Without a special reason, city residents should not leave Wuhan,” the central city’s special command centre to combat the virus said on Thursday, according to state media.
Hours later, state media in neighbouring Huanggang, a city of some six million people, said it was imposing a similar lockdown.
The moves are meant to “effectively cut off the virus spread, resolutely curb the outbreak and guarantee the people’s health and safety,” the notice said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Stations and the airport in Wuhan were closed from 10am (02:00 GMT) with buses, the metro system, ferries and long-distance shuttle buses also suspended in the city. All public gatherings were cancelled in the city of 11 million residents.
Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler has more from China’s capital Beijing.
Adrian Brown has more from Hong Kong.
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In This Story: Beijing
Beijing, China’s sprawling capital, has history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
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In This Story: Hong Kong
Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.
Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.