Over 41 million people now affected by China transport bans

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 24 2020 05:37 PM

People walk past the closed Hankou Railway Station after the city was locked down following the outbreak of a new coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 23, 2020. China Daily via Reuters

BEIJING, China - China on Friday added four more cities to a transport ban around the epicenter of a deadly virus, bringing the number affected by the shutdown to over 41 million as authorities scrambled to control the disease.

Authorities in Xianning, Xiaogan, Enshi and Zhijiang cities -- all located in Hubei province where the virus first emerged -- said public transport services including train stations would be closed.

Some cities also announced the closure of entertainment venues including theatres and karaoke bars.

Coronaviruses are a large family of diseases ranging from the common cold to the deadlier Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization.

A total of 25 patients have died of the new strain as of Friday.

The illness has been reported in Beijing, Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and has reached other countries like Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.