The very notion of a city the size of London being quarantined, physically cut off from its surroundings, is almost impossible to imagine. But this is today’s reality in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in central China, and now in Huanggang and Ezhou, cities with another nine million people nearby.
Local public transport has been suspended, airports and stations have been closed – and this at China’s peak travel season, the eve of the lunar new year holiday, described as one of the biggest annual mass movements of people anywhere in the world.
Elsewhere, public events to celebrate the new year have been cancelled, including in Beijing. This is not something any government would decree unless there was serious concern.
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