A second central Chinese city is being put on lockdown to help control the spread of a virus epidemic that broke out in neighbouring Wuhan, authorities said Thursday.
The train station in Huanggang, which has a population of 7.5 million and is 70 kilometres (40 miles) from Wuhan, will be suspended until further notice from midnight all vehicles will be checked, and bars and cinemas will be closed, said city authorities.
In addition to canceling flights and trains, the authorities also shuttered movie theaters, cafes and other public spaces.
The railway station in a third nearby city, Ezhou, which has a population of over one million, will also close from tonight, though no other measures were announced.
The new virus, which first emerged at the end of December, has killed at least 17 people and sickened more than 570, including in Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, South Korea and the United States. It has raised the specter of a repeat of the SARS epidemic, which broke out in China in 2002 and 2003 and spread rapidly while officials obscured the seriousness of the crisis. That virus eventually killed more than 800 people worldwide.