Chinese villages restrict outsiders from entrance as coronavirus spreads

BEIJING (Reuters) – In a village in Beijing’s far northeastern Shunyi district, residents have set an informal rule: “If you’re here, don’t leave. If they’ve left, don’t let them come back.”

Red tape was tied across the road at the entrance to the small community Monday. Village committee members wearing face masks and high-visibility vests manned the blockade.

Since last week, a public address system had been broadcasting messages, residents told Reuters, warning people against inviting guests and urging anyone who has been to Wuhan, the epicenter of a spreading coronavirus that has killed 106 people, to register with authorities.

“We grow our own leeks … we have a lot of frozen pork, rice and oil. There’s no need for us to go outside,” villager Lu Weian, who lives in a traditional village house with high walls, told Reuters by phone.

“Every house is its own quarantine zone,” she said.

The village, hundreds of miles from Wuhan, is one of many across China shunning outsiders amid rising panic over the virus that has infected thousands.

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