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80 Confirmed Deaths by Coronavirus, China Cancels Lunar New Year Celebrations

The deadly coronavirus outbreak (2019-nCoV in China has now caused 80 deaths in different parts of the country. These Chinese authorities have estimated that it has affected more than 2700 people more. A large number of these reported death cases belong to Wuhan city which accommodates 11 million population. The National Health Commission has reported hundreds of new cases of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) making the total number of cases nearly 3000.

This virus has now spread to more than 30 provinces in China. The authorities have locked down Wuhan and 13 other cities in Hubei province after these incidents. The Hubei Health Commission has published a report of 180 new coronavirus cases in the entire province. Among these, 77 cases are from Wuhan and the rest are spread to smaller cities, all of which are locked down now. Hubei has 729 reported cases of coronavirus till the date.

There was an outbreak in 2002-2003 caused by another family member of coronavirus was SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). It killed hundreds of people in China and Hongkong and is remembered as a huge public threat till the date. This new viral strain(2019-nCoV) is somewhat similar to SARS but different by genetic code.

Also read: The coronavirus outbreak might be the new global emergency

This is possibly the worst time for China to deal with this outbreak. Millions of people re traveling to China to celebrate the lunar year here which is China’s biggest cultural event. But it now has to lockdown its major cities on Chinese new year’s eve to control the possible spread of coronavirus via public places.

The Great Wall of China (the part in Beijing) and Disneyland (Shanghai) are already shut down to control the viral spread. The health authorities fear that as many as 10,000 individuals are already infected with this deadly virus and transmitting it to other people.

The locked-down fourteen cities contain more than 40 million people in them. The lockdown has completely halted business, transport and all public places during this Chinese new year celebratory period.

The lunar new year in China is also famous as the “spring festival” which was “rat’s year” this time. But as the citizens are fearful of this deadly viral outbreak, this important holiday period is ruined for Chinese people. Many major tourist destinations, hotels, parks, and restaurants are closed down and announced the cancellation of reservations (if any).

Shanghai Disney Resort has updated their website as;

“In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and… announce the reopening date upon confirmation.”

Also read: China Issues Travel Warnings After 17 Reported Deaths by Coronavirus

Chinese authorities are considering this as a serious public health threat and taking several measures to control its spread.

  • Beijing’s Forbidden Palace is closed for visitors
  • The Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s nest) is closed for visitors
  • New year carnival in Hong Kong (25th Jan to 28th Jan) is canceled
  • Chinese New Year World Cup football match in Hongkong is canceled
  • Public Lunar New Year events are canceled in Macau

Lunar New Year is China’s thousands of years old festival that is celebrated with zeal and zest in all parts of the country. All workers return to their hometown and celebrate this festival with their parents and families. This festival and Chinese new year vacations exhibit the world’s largest annual migration of people but unfortunately, this year has been hard for Chinese people.

Many flights are cut off, trains are canceled, bus trips are withdrawn leaving millions of people to be completely home ridden.

Health authorities of China are discouraging any type of large gatherings and taking out time to monitor the situation and consult the government to take necessary steps. The government officials haven’t released any re-opening date till now.

 

 

 

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Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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