Beijing: (HRNW) China locked down nearly 20 million in two cities at the centre of a deadly virus outbreak on Thursday, banning planes and trains from leaving in an unprecedented move aimed at containing the disease which has already spread to other countries.
The respiratory virus has claimed 17 lives since emerging from a seafood and animal market in Wuhan, infected hundreds of other people nationwide and been detected as far away as the United States.
Streets and shopping centres in Wuhan, a major port city in central Hubei province with a population of 11 million people, were eerily quiet after authorities told residents not to leave town “without a special reason”.
Trains and planes out of Wuhan were indefinitely suspended, tollways on roads out the city were closed, leading to fear and panic for those who were trapped.
Hours later, authorities in neighbouring Huanggang announced that public transport and train services would be suspended at midnight, while people were told to not leave the city of 7.5 million.