Wuhan virus: China’s Shantou city will not impose partial lockdown but will boost disease control efforts

Passengers wear masks as they wait at Guangzhou airport, on Jan 23, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING (AFP) - China's coastal city of Shantou in Guangdong province, will not ban cars, ships and people from entering the city but will strengthen disease controls such as disinfection efforts, local state media STRTV reported, reversing an earlier government statement.

Earlier the city said it would stop cars, ships and people from entering the city starting on Monday (Jan 27) to help prevent the spread of a coronavirus that broke out in Wuhan at end-2019.

China announced a partial lockdown in the southern city of Shantou on Sunday (Jan 26) in a bid to control the spread of a deadly virus, the first such measure taken outside the epicentre of the disease.

That announcement cannot be found now on Shantou city's website.

Shantou, which is more than 800km from Wuhan city in central China, had also said earlier it would suspend the operation of buses, taxis and ferries from 2pm on Sunday. People arriving at Shantou train stations will be screened and "urged to return", it had said.

The new virus has infected nearly 2,000 across China and killed 56. Most of the dead are in Wuhan or the surrounding Hubei province.

There have been two cases confirmed in Shantou and 98 in Guangdong province, according to the province's health commission.

In Wuhan, the capital of central Hubei province, authorities have banned people from leaving the city of 11 million people.

Transport bans have been placed in many other cities in Hubei, affecting some 56 million people.

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In the north of the country, Beijing and Tianjin have announced the suspension of buses that enter and exit the cities in a bid to control the spread of the virus.

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