Coronavirus: China's Hubei bans vehicle traffic to curb spread of disease

Empty streets are seen in Wuhan on Jan 26, 2020. The government of Hubei announced on Feb 16, 2020, that a ban will be imposed on vehicle traffic across the province. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - The government of Hubei province, the centre of China's coronavirus outbreak, said on Sunday (Feb 16) a ban will be imposed on vehicle traffic across the province to curb the spread of the virus.

In a published document, it said police cars, ambulances, vehicles carrying essential goods, or other vehicles related to public service would be exempted.

It added that the province will carry out regular health checks on all residents in the province. It also stated that companies cannot resume work without first receiving permission from the government.

The disease, officially named Covid-19, is thought to have originated from a wildlife market in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei.

The fast-spreading virus has infected more than 56,000 people and killed over 1,500 in Hubei alone. Worldwide, more than 69,000 people have been infected and over 1,600 have died in the epidemic.

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