BEIJING: The eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou restricted the movement of residents and closed roads on Sunday (Feb 2) in the most drastic steps taken by authorities outside the epicentre of a deadly virus.
Only one resident per household is allowed to go out every two days to buy necessities, authorities said in the city of nine million, while 46 highway toll stations have been closed.
Zhejiang province has the highest number of confirmed cases outside central Hubei province at 661 confirmed infections, with 265 of those in Wenzhou.
The city – which is more than 800km away by road from Wuhan, the epicentre – has also cancelled public events and closed public places like swimming pools, cinemas and museums.
Wenzhou’s metro line and public transport have also been suspended as have inter-province buses.
Schools and universities will not resume classes until after Mar 1, and authorities said enterprises should not resume work until after Feb 17 – except government institutions and administrative departments which will start work on Feb 9.
The virus has infected more than 14,000 people across China and caused 304 deaths.
There had been a further 1,921 cases detected in Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, taking the total in the province to 9,074.
But the epidemic has spread far and wide as Chinese people travelled across the country and abroad over the Chinese New Year holiday that started last week.
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global health emergency, but said it was not recommending any international trade or travel restrictions.
It has since ballooned into a global health emergency with cases in more than 20 countries.
The Philippines reported the first death outside China from the coronavirus on Sunday.
The fatality is a Chinese man from the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected.