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  • Children wear masks at the Hong Kong West Kowloon High Speed Train Station, in Hong Kong, China, Jan. 23, 2020.

    Children wear masks at the Hong Kong West Kowloon High Speed Train Station, in Hong Kong, China, Jan. 23, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 January 2020

So far, Wuhan, Huanggang, and Ezhou have been isolated to halt the spread of the epidemic caused by a new type of coronavirus.

In order to curb the spread of coronavirus 2019-nCoV, Chinese authorities have suspended public transport out of the city of Huanggang (6 million inhabitants) and the city of Ezhou (1million inhabitants). Citizens have been asked not to leave these places without "special reasons."

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Both locations are near Wuhan, the center of the viral pneumonia outbreak that has left at least 17 people dead. In this city, all forms of transport were also suspended to contain the outbreak.

Other precautionary measures have been ordered to prevent the number of people infected within these cities from increasing.​​​​​​

"All cinemas, internet cafes, and meeting indoor places, as well as tourism and entertainment places, will be closed," the Huanggang Municipal Government said.​​​​​​​

These prohibitions occur at a time when the Chinese were preparing to celebrate the New Year on Saturday, a party in which millions of people travel to other cities to visit their families.​​​​​​​

According to the Chinese authorities' latest data, the number of confirmed cases of the so-called “Wuhan pneumonia” amounts to 631.​​​​​​​

Epidemiologists' latest findings show that this new class of pneumonia can be transmitted from person to person and the ​​​​​​​viral incubation period can last up to 14 days.

On Thursday, the World Heald Organization (WHO) is expected to decide whether to declare the 2019-nCoV outbreak a global health emergency.

If it does so, it will be the sixth international public health emergency to be declared in the last decade.

Outside China, eight cases of the Wuhan pneumonia have been reported up to Thursday morning. Thailand has confirmed four, while Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the U.S. have reported one each.​​​​​​​

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