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China Seals Off, Locks Down City of 11M

Unprecedented measures taken to fight spread of new virus
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2020 4:30 AM CST
Updated Jan 23, 2020 7:03 AM CST

(Newser) – In a step apparently unprecedented in the history of disease control, China has sealed off and locked down a city bigger than New York or London. Authorities announced Wednesday that public transportation was being shut down in Wuhan, the city of 11 million people at the center of the coronavirus outbreak, and residents would not be allowed to leave by air or train, the BBC reports. Residents tell Reuters that roads have also been blocked off and guards are patrolling highways. Authorities have also announced plans to seal off Huanggang, city of 7 million people east of Wuhan, and restrict travel out of nearby Ezhou, a city of 1 million. The outbreak has killed 17 people, all of them in or near Wuhan, and there have been more than 500 cases reported, including one in the US. More:

  • Desperate attempts to leave. The South China Morning Post reports after the Wuhan announcement was made, crowds of people trying to get out of the city before the 10am deadline rushed to the city's airport and main train station, which were already packed with people leaving for the Lunar New Year holiday. Police and paramilitary troops guarded the train station and people with tickets for trains leaving after 10am were turned away.

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