The central Chinese city of Wuhan and seven other cities in Hubei province went into lockdown to help contain the spread of a deadly virus on Thursday, a day before the World Health Organisation (WHO) was meeting to decide whether to declare the outbreak an international emergency.
In Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak with at least 444 confirmed cases, hospitals, universities and charities appealed for donations of much-needed protective equipment, including face masks, caps and gloves. The city’s health commission also appealed for volunteers to help deliver supplies to hospitals.
Beijing-based magazine Caixin quoted Guan Yi, director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases at Hong Kong University, as saying that authorities in Wuhan had missed their best opportunity to contain the spread of the disease because people started leaving the city a couple of days ago.
Approximately 25 million people in the 8 cities, 58 million in Hubei province.
Incubation time is estimated at 14 days.
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