China Imposes Massive Virus Quarantine As US Finds Second Case
Wuhan, China, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jan, 2020 ) :Chinese authorities expanded a massive quarantine effort covering 13 cities on Friday to contain a deadly virus as nervous residents were checked for fevers and the death toll climbed to 26.
With more than 800 cases logged in China so far, a range of Lunar New Year festivities have been cancelled, with temporary closures of Beijing's Forbidden City, Shanghai's Disneyland and a section of the Great Wall to prevent the disease from spreading further.
A woman in Chicago in her sixties became the second patient on US soil, with 50 other suspected cases under investigation. The woman was doing well and was in stable condition, a city health official said Friday.
China is in the midst of its Lunar New Year holiday, a typically joyous time of family gatherings and public festivities.
But on Friday Wuhan was a ghost town, its streets deserted and stores shuttered.
Hospitals visited by AFP journalists bustled with worried patients being screened by staff wearing full-body protective suits.
At a temperature-check station, a medical staffer in a bodysuit, face mask and goggles took a thermometer from a middle-aged woman, pausing to examine the reading before quickly turning back to the patient.
"Have you registered? Then go and see the doctor," the staffer said.
One 35-year-old man surnamed Li voiced the fears of many. "I have a fever and cough, so I'm worried that I'm infected," he said.
Deepening the isolation, there were few flights available to the city.
But he said a prolonged shutdown should not pose food-shortage problems because many Chinese had stocked up for the holiday.
Besides Wuhan, 12 other smaller cities nearby have battened down the hatches, with most of them going public on Friday with various measures ranging from closing public venues and restricting large gatherings to halting public transportation and asking citizens not to leave their cities.
State broadcaster CCTV also reported that 40 medical doctors from the military were being brought in to help with intensive care.
On Friday, staff in full-body protective suits were seen checking the temperatures of people entering a subway station in Beijing.
Thermal cameras scanned passengers arriving at Beijing's West Railway Station.
- 'Work as one' - Beijing has been praised for its response in contrast to SARS, when it took months to report the disease and initially denied WHO experts any access.
Beijing has cancelled popular New Year public events at temples in the capital, the historic Forbidden City will close from Saturday, and Shanghai Disneyland said it also will shut down for an indefinite period from Saturday.
A number of tourist spots were closed and events cancelled in central Hunan province, which borders Hubei province.
The crisis was given a prominent spot on the celebrated gala show on state tv Friday evening, the traditional Lunar New Year's Eve extravaganza broadcast by CCTV watched by hundreds of millions of Chinese.