Measures to halt the spread of the disease prevented millions of workers from visiting their hometowns.
On January 25, over 1.4 billion Chinese welcomed their lunar New Year with concern and sadness, as celebrations and family gatherings have been suspended to halt the spread of the Wuhan pneumonia.
Shows, fireworks, and mass events have been canceled. People have been advised to avoid large family gatherings and limit themselves to spending the holidays with their closest relatives at home.
These sanitary provisions substantially alter the customs of millions of workers who take advantage of the first five days of the new year to visit their relatives in their hometowns.
This, however, will not happen on this occasion due to the coronavirus 2019-nCoV, which has already left 26 dead and 887 infected.
On Friday morning, more than 40 million people were bound to be quarantined in 13 cities near Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
In Beijing, the Forbidden City, the Lama Temple, and the Earth Park, the National Museum, the National Library, the Museum of Art and the Prince Kung Mansion will be closed on Saturday.
"It's a special year, a little sad for me. We are not going to see our family and the atmosphere is uneasy, with all the people wearing masks in the street," said Zhang Ping, a 35-year-old woman who received a message from the Chinese government recommending that she better stay at home.
The virus causing the Wuhan pneumonia belongs to a family of microorganisms, the Coronaviridae, which look like spikes rings.
“The spikes on the viral envelope help them bind to cells... Once inside, they turn the cell into a virus factory, using its molecular conveyor belt to produce more viruses,” CNET explained.