China locks down more cities as coronavirus death toll doubles

Transport suspended in over 10 Chinese cities as death toll rises.

 

Chinese authorities have moved to lock down multiple cities in Hubei province, as 26 people have now reportedly died from the coronavirus virus.

 

The total number of confirmed cases in China rose to 830, forcing the Chinese government to cancel major events and halt train and flight services around the country.

 

23 million people are estimated to be affected by the lock down.

 

The outbreak comes at the worst possible time for China. This weekend is the first day of the Lunar New Year which sees the largest migration of people in the world as the Chinese head back to their hometowns to be with relatives.

 

In Wuhan, where the coronavirus is expected to have originated, hospitals are at breaking point.

 

On Thursday, the city began construction of a 1,000-bed hospital which they plan to complete within 6-days.

 

In 2003, a similar feat was accomplished in Beijing when 7,000 workers built Xiaotangshan hospital in less than a week to treat SARS patients.

 

“Make no mistake, this is, though, an emergency in China. But, it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation.

 

Officials believe the virus transferred into the human population from an infected animal at a market in Wuhan.