Virus Alert: China Shuts Down Forbidden City and Great Wall

Virus Alert: China Shuts Down Forbidden City and Great Wall
Coronavirus has increasing death tolls in China, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus have risen to over 1,200 people. Transport services and attractions have been shut down in multiple cities

OT Staff
January 25 , 2020
01 Min Read

One of China’s biggest festivals, the Lunar New Year, has become a rather melancholic affair this year as the coronavirus spreads throughout the country. Over 1,200 cases of the deadly virus have been confirmed, and the death counts are increasing. Containment has not been successful by the health authorities and people across the country (and even beyond) are at risk. 

The virus is identified as a severe respiratory infection, accompanied by fever and cough. It starts with a fever, leading to a dry cough, shortness of breath and finally requires hospitalisation. 

The escalation of cases has caused various cities in the country to halt their travel operations. Timing is also a vital factor, since the Lunar New Year is a festival for which locals travel to visit family; many festivities have been broken off. The outbreak began in the city of Wuhan, which is now in complete lockdown. All transport systems—bus, ferry, underground, train, planes—have been cancelled. The railway station in Ezhou has always been shut, as have the bus services in the city of Enshi. Residents of Beijing and Shanghai have been asked to stay in their homes if they have visited any affected areas. The decision aims to prevent any more advancement of the virus.

Many travel destinations, including the Forbidden City in Beijing, Disney Resort in Shanghai and a portion of the Great Wall of China, have been shut off. Traditional temple fairs, Hong Kong’s annual football tournament, public celebrations for Lunar New Year in Macau, and an international carnival in Hong Kong also stand cancelled. 

The virus is yet to be classified as an ‘international emergency’, partially due to the low rates of reported cases abroad. Confirmed cases have been seen in Australia, Nepal, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, the United States of America, France, Thailand, Singapore, and Japan. 

Update: As of January 31, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus to be an international public health emergency. Read their guide for best practices to avoid exposure here

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