BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday expanded to at least eight cities, with some 25 million inhabitants, isolation measures designed to contain the outbreak of a new lethal virus that has sickened hundreds of people, although the potential success of the Measure. The isolated cities are Wuhan, Ezhou, Huanggang, Chibi, Qianjiang, Zhijiang, Jingmen and Xiantao, all located in Hubei Province, in the center of the country and where the disease has been concentrated.
In Wuhan, where the early closing of Thursday began, streets, shopping malls, restaurants and other public spaces looked deserted. The use of masks was mandatory in public. The train and metro stations, and the airport, were closed; Police inspected the vehicles entering the city but did not close the roads. The other seven cities that were due to close near Wuhan, but authorities are taking preventive measures across the country. In the capital, Beijing, some major events were canceled indefinitely, including traditional fairs that are distinctive of the Lunar New Year festivities. The Forbidden City, a complex of palaces, announced that it will close indefinitely from Saturday. The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus increased to 830 with 25 deaths, the National Health Commission reported. The first death outside the central province of Hubei was also confirmed. The health commission in Hebei, a northern province bordering Beijing, said an 80-year-old man died after returning from a two-month stay in Wuhan, where he traveled to visit his relatives. The vast majority of cases have been recorded in and around Wuhan, or in people related to the city. Cases have also been confirmed in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, as well as in the United States, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore.Many countries inspect travelers from China for symptoms of the virus, which can cause symptoms of the virus, which can cause symptoms of the virus, which can cause symptoms of the virus, which can cause symptoms of the virus, which can cause symptoms of the virus, which can cause fever, cough, breathing difficulties and pneumonia. The World Health Organization has decided not to declare a global emergency, a measure that can allocate more funds and resources to combat the threat, but it can also lead to trade and travel restrictions, as well as other economic damage. The decision «should not be taken as a sign that WHO does not believe that the situation is serious or that we do not take it seriously. Nothing further from the truth,» said World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. «WHO is monitoring this outbreak every minute of every day.» The Chinese authorities have not reported how long the closure of the cities will last. Although radical measures are common within the communist-led government, large-scale quarantines are unusual around the world, including in lethal epidemics, due to concerns about violating people’s freedoms. In addition, the effectiveness of such measures is unknown.