No exit: China locks down second city as it steps up virus battle

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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