The Chinese city of Wuhan, with a population of about 9 million people, has announced the temporary closure of public transportation in an attempt to halt the outbreak of infection with the new Corona virus.
The Chinese government has asked the city’s residents not to travel outside it, while millions of Chinese travel across the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday.
The authorities announced that the airport and train stations in Wuhan, in central China, will be closed for departures, in addition to buses, subways and ferries traveling outside the city.
The authorities had previously called on city residents to avoid gathering places and reduce participation in social events.
Dr. Trossos Gebresos, Secretary-General of the World Health Organization, said that the Chinese measures “are so strong that they are not only able to cope with the outbreak of the infection, but also prevent its transmission outside the country.”
At the same time, after a day of discussions within the emergency committee in the international organization, the members did not reach a decision on declaring a state of emergency at the international level to face the risk of a deadly virus infection.
The committee is scheduled to continue its meeting on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths in China rose to 17 on Wednesday. More than 540 others were confirmed infected, adding to fears that the suspected infection caused by illegal commercial activities in wild animals could increase.
Nevertheless, scientists at the International Center for Infectious Diseases Control in London estimate that there are more than 4,000 cases in Wuhan.
The new flu strain, like the flu, appeared in a seafood market in downtown Wuhan.
The Chinese government did not impose a secret on exchanging information about infection this time, contrary to what happened during the spread of the SARS virus in 2002, which killed more than 800 people.
This time, Beijing regularly provides updated information in an effort to prevent panic among millions of travelers across the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday.
After officials appealed to people to remain calm, many Chinese canceled their trips, bought protective masks and avoided going out to public places such as cinemas and malls.
Chinese officials said the country is now in the most difficult stage in its quest to prevent the spread of infection.
The virus initially appeared in Wuhan and spread to several other cities, including the capital, Beijing, and Shanghai and Hong Kong Island.
Cases have also appeared in the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.