THE number of deaths from China’s coronavirus outbreak has nearly doubled, to 17 people in just 24 hours, and Wuhan city, where the disease is thought to have started, is shutting down outbound flights and trains.
The state-owned People’s Daily newspaper said in a tweet that no one would be allowed to leave the city of 11 million people after 10am local time yesterday (Thursday) because it had been quarantined.
It means that train stations and the airport have shut down, as authorities battle to contain the virus from spreading. Other forms of public transport in Wuhan were also shut down, with buses and ferries also suspended.
Apart from the deaths, more than 500 cases of the disease were confirmed yesterday. And officials in China have stressed that people should not leave the city unless there are special circumstances.
The coronavirus is believed to have stemmed from illegally-trafficked animals at a Wuhan market, which has been named as the likely source.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has advised Britons against all-but-essential travel to that city. There are fears that the virus has already spread to the UK, and the Government has introduced extra screening to protect people from the deadly disease.
“Enhanced monitoring” will be put in place for all direct flights from Wuhan to Britain, said the Department of Health.
This includes offering advice to travellers if they feel unwell, and what symptoms to expect, at the worst.
All direct flights from Wuhan city to Heathrow will be subjected to enhanced monitoring, while worldwide city airports have introduced extra checks for passengers, including temperature-screening.
The DHSC confirmed that precautionary measures had been put in place since the virus spread to other parts of the world.
Yet hundreds of millions of Chinese people will be travelling at home and abroad for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Despite the alerts, though, medics admitted that the threat posed by the coronavirus in the UK was considered “low” at this stage.
Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director of Public Health England, said: “We have issued advice to the NHS, and we are keeping the situation under constant review.”
A Heathrow spokesman said: “The welfare of our passengers and colleagues is always our main priority and we are working with the Government to support the implementation of enhanced monitoring measures as a precaution
Cheap Flights to St.Petersburg, RussiaSt. Petersburg is the place miracles are made. Today, Russia’s second largest city is known for its stunning tsarist architecture, fashionable restaurants, shopping and electric nightlife, all set along the beautiful Neva River. But St. Petersburg is also the site of some of the most pivotal moments in Russia's history, most notably the Siege of Leningrad.
One of the most awesome spectacles you can see once you've stepped off a flight to St. Petersburg are the “white nights” that occur in the city in the summer. Find cheap flights to St. Petersburg in June and July and watch in awe as the city glows from the prolonged twilight. The sun never drops far enough below the horizon to create the usual nighttime darkness, so the city is constantly lit up under the miraculous white light.
Find cheap flights to St.Petersburg
Jaguars arrive in time for Loro Parque celebrations
Legendary Kobe dies, as his own helicopter crashes
Jet2 continuing its summer expansion
Island’s six earthquakes recorded in half-an-hour
Guaza’s dumped cars can pose big problems