China Puts Wuhan on Lockdown Amid Coronavirus Spread

China is locking gates of a city of 11 million individuals considered the epicenter of the new coronavirus epidemic that has killed 17 and infected around 600 people, as health authorities worldwide take steps to stop a global pandemic.

Global health authorities fear the transmission fee will accelerate as millions of Chinese travel at home and overseas during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

The previously unknown coronavirus pressure is believed to have emerged in late 2019 from illegally traded animals at an animal market in the central Chinese metropolis of Wuhan. Cases have been detected as far away as the U.S., kindling fears the virus is already crossing country frontiers.

Wuhan’s local authorities stated it will shut down all urban transport networks and droop outgoing flights from the city on Thursday, state media reported. Local media reported some airways were functioning after the deadline.

The government is urging residents not to leave the town in the absence of special circumstances.

Contrasting with its secrecy over the 2002-03 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 individuals, China’s communist government has this time given common updates to avoid panic ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.

The Chinese government has confirmed 571 cases and 17 deaths as of end-Wednesday, China’s Nationwide Health Commission stated Thursday.

There are eight other identified cases around the globe – Thailand has confirmed four cases, while the U.S., Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan have each reported one.