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Coronavirus Outbreak: Anxiety rises as Chinese city shut down public transportation

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Chinese city, Wuhan goes into lockdown over Coronavirus outbreak

Chinese authorities have suspended outbound planes and trains into the city, as well as buses, subways and ferries, in a bid to control the spread of a deadly Coronavirus.

Wuhan, a Chinese city of eleven million people, has temporarily shut down its public transport as it tries to halt the outbreak of a new strain of virus which has left 17 dead.

Those living in the city have been advised not to leave, in a week when millions of Chinese are travelling for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

The respiratory illness has spread to other parts of China, with some cases in other countries including the US.

There are more than 500 confirmed cases and 17 people have died.

Also, Officials in Hong Kong reported the territory’s first two cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday and one case was reported in the nearby city of Macau.

The first US case was confirmed on Tuesday.

Another Wuhan resident said on social media site Weibo that they were on the “verge of tears” when they heard about the closures.

All outbound flights from Wuhan have been suspended as of Thursday. A handful of inbound flights still appear to be operating, though many flights have been cancelled.

Singapore Airlines, budget carrier Scoot, which operates a daily flight between Singapore and Wuhan, have on Thursday cancelled flights on that route.

On Thursday, China’s National Health Commission released details of the 17 victims. The youngest victim was 48 and the oldest was 89.

Most of them were elderly and suffered from other chronic diseases including Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.

All the fatalities so far have been in Hubei, the province around Wuhan.

Meanwhile, after a day of discussions in Geneva, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency committee has announced it will not yet declare a “global emergency” over the new virus.

Director general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said more information was needed about the spread of the infection. The committee of health experts will meet again on Thursday.

A global emergency is the highest level of alarm the WHO can sound and has previously been used in response to swine flu, Zika virus and Ebola.

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