Second Chinese City To Be Placed In Lockdown To Stop Coronavirus From Spreading
Officials in Huanggang have announced the city would suspend its public transport systems and shut up a number of premises, such as cinemas and cafes from midnight tonight (4pm UK time).
The city is home to around seven million people.
Nearby Wuhan, which is where the virus is reported to have originated, is also locked down with flights and trains in or out of the city cancelled and residents told to stay put.
The coronavirus has left at least 17 people dead, while China has confirmed more than 500 cases.
A doctor working at a hospital in Wuhan told the BBC he is 'scared' of this new virus and its 'worrying figures'.
He added: "Outside I can barely see anyone on the streets. We have been told to avoid gathering.
"I went to the supermarket to buy food, but there was nothing left - no vegetables or biscuits. Some Lunar New Year celebrations are cancelled.
"People had bought tickets to go home for Lunar New Year but they can't go now. Everyone is stuck here and can't leave."
The new virus is 'weaker' than SARS, which killed more than 700 people between 2002 and 2004, according to a recent report.
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But, similarly to SARS, it's thought it could have come from bats.
In a statement, researchers have said: "The Wuhan coronavirus' natural host could be bats... but between bats and humans there may be an unknown intermediate."
The virus reportedly started at a seafood market in Wuhan that 'conducted illegal transactions of wild animals,' authorities have said.
Gao Fu, director of the Chinese centre for disease control and prevention, explained in a report published by Rappler: "We already know that the disease originated from a market which conducted illegal transaction of wild animals.
"This might be the cause, so the disease could be on an animal, and then passed on from this animal to a human."
The market was closed down earlier this year, but images taken at the market prior to its closure show all manner of exotic meat on offer.
South China Morning Post shared a wide-ranging list of animal being sold, including live foxes, crocodiles, wolf puppies, snakes, peacocks and koalas.
A menu snapped and shared online, purported shows a price of 70 RMB for koala meat which equates to £7.69 or $10.10 USD.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: World News