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Beijing cancels major Chinese New Year celebrations in desperate attempt to control the spread of the killer Coronavirus

January 26, 2020

* China’s president Xi Jinping warns killer coronavirus is accelerating as doctor dies and US evacuates its citizens from hotspot Wuhan after death toll jumps to 41 with 1,281 cases and 56 million on lockdown 

Children pose for a photo near a rat sculpture ahead of the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year at Ditan Park in Beijing on January 21. Beijing Tourism Net said the Beijing Ditan and Longtan Temple Fairs – scheduled for January 25 to 29 – would be cancelled

Beijing has announced major Chinese New Year events will be cancelled to control the spread of the killer coronavirus.

Officials in the Chinese capital have scrapped events including temple fairs – which can attract thousands of tourists.

Residents have been urged to ‘strengthen prevention’ against the virus, which has killed 25 and potentially infected thousands.

More than 800 people have been confirmed to have the virus, with cases recorded in the US, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau – as well as China.

In a post on China‘s Twitter-like platform Weibo, Beijing authorities added that the move was to help epidemic prevention and control.

People walk through a tunnel decorated with red lanterns at Ditan Park on Tuesday

Beijing’s city government said they would provide more information ‘as the epidemic situation evolves’.

The thriving city, home to 21million people, is not the first to cancel events – football and boxing matches have been cancelled in Wuhan.

Wuhan is at the centre of the outbreak. It was yesterday quarantined, with officials scrapping all flights and trains from entering or leaving the city.

Residents in Wuhan were also banned from leaving, with shocking video emerging today of scenes of chaos throughout the capital of Hubei province.

One resident told the BBC the atmosphere in the city – which scientists yesterday predicted may have up to 10,000 cases – felt like ‘the end of the world’.

In other unprecedented moves, authorities in Ezhou – another city in Hubei – have shut down train stations to try to contain the coronavirus.

Chinese authorities say 17 people have died and more than 500 have been infected, air and rail departures from Wuhan are suspended from January 23

A man wearing a protective facemask walks along a street in Beijing today

And Huanggang today announced it will suspend public buses and trains as well as ordering cinemas and internet cafes to close their doors.

Chinese officials have been disinfecting whole streets and parks with clouds of gas, while roadside quarantine tents have been erected to isolate suspected cases.

Beijing Tourism Net said the Beijing Ditan and Longtan Temple Fairs – scheduled for January 25 to 29 – would be cancelled.

The fairs, held for roughly three decades according to Chinese news outlet Xinhua, saw 1.4million Chinese and foreign tourists over five days last year.

The Tanzhe Temple Scenic Area, Jietai Temple Scenic Area, and Miaofeng Mountain Scenic Area in Mentougou District will also be closed.

Travellers have spread the coronavirus to seven countries already, including the US. Suspected cases have cropped up in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia.

European health officials fear the never-before-seen virus will reach the continent, with the UK and other nations already on high alert.

Heathrow Airport yesterday took the extraordinary measure to isolate all passengers from Wuhan, before the city cancelled all flights.

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From → Health, World Watch

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