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Wuhan travel ban following coronavirus outbreak

Mega city goes into lockdown one day before Chinese New Year.

Wuhan, the sprawling capital of Central China’s Hubei province and the source of an outbreak of a new flu-like virus, is closing its transport networks and has advised citizens not to leave the city in an effort to prevent a global pandemic.

Following a spike in the number of deaths from the newly discovered coronavirus, all transport in Wuhan has been suspended, including the airport (shut down at 10am today) and train stations. Bus, subway, ferry and long-distance passenger transportation networks have also been shut down.

Chinese officials have confirmed 571 cases of the virus and 17 deaths.

Additional cases have been confirmed in Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and the United States.

One of the last flights to leave Wuhan arrived in Sydney this morning, with medical staff conducting health screenings on-site.

Wuhan is a city of more than 11 million people, so the travel shut down may prove difficult ahead of the mass migration of city dwellers to rural areas across China, as well as families embarking on international travel, for Lunar New Year celebrations.

Main image: Passengers wear masks in a subway station after the first case of coronavirus in Macau was confirmed on Wednesday (Source: AP Photo/Kin Cheung)