Authorities in central China’s Hubei province have now placed a grand total of 16 cities on lockdown to prevent further contagion in the Wuhan coronovirus outbreak.
These 16 cities are: Wuhan (11 million people), Ezhou (1.07 million), Xiantao (1.56 million), Zhijiang (550,000), Qianjiang (960,000), Huanggang (750,000), Chibi (530,000), Jingmen (300,000), Xianning (2.53 million), Huangshi (2.68 million), Dangyang (560,000), Enshi (800,000), Xiaogan (4.16 million), Yichang (4.16 million), Suizhou (2.21 million), Jingzhou (6.41 million).
The unprecedented move will affect some 51 million people, approximately 86% of the 59 million living in the entire province.
Railway, subway, bus and ferry services have been shut down to halt intra-city and inter-city movements.
In the provincial capital Wuhan, a ban on private vehicle use also kicked in on January 26 at midnight, ostensibly to keep roads free for the movement of emergency supplies, government vehicles and public services.
Local authorities said 310 buses and 6,000 taxis would be placed at the service of residents that need to make essential trips.
Disgruntled residents lambasted the new measures as extreme and draconian, making it difficult for healthcare and utility employees to get to work and for patients to access medical care.
As of Jan 25, 8pm, 41 deaths and 1,337 infections have been recorded in the Wuhan coronovirus outbreak.