Coronavirus: Chinese cities locked down far from virus epicentre of Wuhan

Volunteers in protective suits disinfect a residential compound in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, China, on Jan 30, 2020.
Volunteers in protective suits disinfect a residential compound in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, China, on Jan 30, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - Two more cities in China's eastern province of Zhejiang have restricted the movement of residents over fears of the spread of the coronavirus, far from the epicentre of the health emergency.

The city of Taizhou and three Hangzhou districts - including the area home to the main office of Chinese tech giant Alibaba - will allow only one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities, city officials said.

The areas between them account for more than nine million people.

Taizhou - 850km from Wuhan, where the virus originated - will also suspend 95 train services into the city from Tuesday (Feb 4).

In addition, all residential communities must keep only one entrance open and residents must present ID each time they come in and out, according to a statement on Taizhou's government's official WeChat account.

Landlords were also forbidden from renting property to people from "severely affected areas such as Hubei" if they had travelled to their hometowns recently, it added.

In the Hangzhou districts, additional measures included mandatory mask wearing and compulsory ID and temperature checks.

The latest restrictions follow similar measures announced on Sunday in the Zhejiang city of Wenzhou, which has a population of nine million people.

The city has restricted the movement of residents and closed roads.

 

Zhejiang province has confirmed 829 cases - the highest number outside central Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak which has claimed 425 lives.