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How authorities are trying to contain the coronavirus outbreak

How authorities are trying to contain the coronavirus outbreak

As the death toll from a new strain of coronavirus continues to rise, authorities around the world are grappling with how to contain the rapidly spreading respiratory illness.

How authorities are trying to contain the coronavirus outbreak

In Wuhan, the Chinese city of 11 million people where the virus originated, public transport is being temporarily shut down and residents are being advised not to leave.

From Thursday, all subway and ferry services will be shut down, and flights and passenger train services out of Wuhan are being stopped.

Potential visitors to the city are being told not to travel there, and tourist attractions and hotels in the city have been urged to suspend large-scale activities.

Residents are advised to avoid crowds and public gatherings, with libraries, museums and theatres cancelling exhibitions and performances.

Similar restrictions have been put in place in nearby central Chinese cities of Huanggang and Ezhou, as well as the smaller cities of Chibi and Zhijiang.

Millions of Chinese are travelling this week for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, prompting officials worldwide to take extra precautions as they prepare for large numbers of tourists.

Several countries have increased border health checks, including Australia, the US, the UK and Russia.

In Australia, medical staff from the NSW Health Department are being stationed alongside biosecurity staff at Sydney Airport to meet passengers from direct flights from Wuhan before they cease.

They will conduct an initial diagnosis of people on the flight if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms and will send them to hospital for testing if necessary.

There was a suspected case of the virus in Australia with a man placed in isolation amid fears he had contracted it in China. He has since been cleared.

Meanwhile, North Korea has banned foreign tourism altogether to safeguard against the spread of the virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced it will not yet declare a “global emergency” over the virus, but has said the epidemic is “an emergency in China”. 

The virus, which is currently known as 2019-nCoV, is believed to be a new strain of coronavirus.

There is evidence to suggest it can spread from person to person.

The official death toll sits at 25, with more than 800 people infected, but there are fears Chinese officials have drastically under-reported the numbers infected.

Incidents of the disease have also been reported in Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the US.

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