Wed | Feb 19, 2020

Chinese city stops outbound flights, trains to fight virus

Published:Wednesday | January 22, 2020 | 4:03 PM
Travellers wear face masks as they line up at turnstiles at a train station in Nantong, eastern China's Jiangsu province, Wednesday, January 22, 2020. (Chinatopix via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say the city of Wuhan is shutting down outbound flights and trains as the country battles the spread of a new virus that has sickened hundreds and killed 17.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday that the city also asked people not to leave Wuhan without specific reasons.

The state-owned People’s Daily newspaper said in a tweet that no one would be allowed to leave the city starting at 10:00 a.m. and that train stations and the airport will shut down.

It said that city buses, subways, ferries and long-distance shuttle buses would also be temporarily closed, citing Wuhan authorities.

In Geneva, the World Health Organization said it had put off deciding whether to declare the outbreak a global health emergency and asked its expert committee on the issue to continue their meeting for a second day Thursday.

The organization defines a global emergency as an “extraordinary event” that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a coordinated international response.

Chinese health authorities urged people in Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings, after warning that a new viral illness that has infected more than 400 people and killed at least 17 could spread further.

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