January 23 coronavirus news

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7:54 a.m. ET, January 23, 2020

How coronavirus affects your body

11:03 a.m. ET, January 23, 2020

Travel restrictions placed on third Chinese city

From CNN’s Isaac Yee in Hong Kong 

Travel restrictions have been put in place in Ezhou, the third Chinese city to be affected by measures aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus.

Ezhou’s railway station has been closed "in order to fully conduct prevention and control of the new type of pneumonia causing coronavirus, effectively cut off the transmission of the virus, resolutely curb the spread of the epidemic, and ensure the safety and health of the people," according to a Thursday statement from the Ezhou City Coronavirus Disease Prevention Control Headquarters.

Earlier in the day public transport and long distance transport networks were suspended in nearby Huanggang, according to its municipal government.

Huanggang's central market is temporarily closed, as well as all entertainment venues, public halls, movie theaters and tourism centers.

Cars coming in and out of the city will be checked and searched, and people will have their temperatures taken.

7:33 a.m. ET, January 23, 2020

Cathay Dragon suspends flights to and from Wuhan amid deadly coronavirus

From CNN’s Pamela Boykoff in New York and Chris Liakos in London

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Airline Cathay Dragon announced Thursday it is suspending flights to and from Wuhan amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

“In light of the evolving situation in Wuhan, Cathay Dragon is temporarily suspending flights to and from Wuhan effective January 24, 2020 until 29 February, 2020," said the company in a statement.

"We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to coordinate with the health authorities in Hong Kong and in all the ports to which we operate flights.”

Cathay Dragon is a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s flag carrier, Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific stock declined 2.1% in Hong Kong Thursday as the aviation sector comes under pressure amid the spread of the coronavirus.

10:57 a.m. ET, January 23, 2020

Beijing scraps all large-scale New Year Celebrations

From CNN’s Yong Xiong in Beijing

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Authorities in Beijing have canceled all large-scale Chinese New Year celebrations in an effort to contain the growing spread of Wuhan coronavirus.

“In order to control the epidemic, protect people’s lives and health, reduce the mass gathering and ensure people to have a harmonious and peaceful Spring Festival, it is decided to cancel all the large-scale events, including temple fairs, in Beijing as of today,” read a Thursday statement from the governmental Beijing Culture and Tourism Bureau.

“Citizens shall strengthen the preventative measures and support the decision. We will notify the policy changes with the epidemic development ... And wish all citizens a happy Spring Festival,” the statement continued.

Chinese New Year 2020 runs from Saturday 25 through February 8.

6:48 a.m. ET, January 23, 2020

What do we know about Wuhan?

From CNN's Yuli Yang

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated, is the capital city of Hubei province in Central China.

It is the 10th most populated city in China, with 8,837,300 residents in 2018, according to the National Statistics Bureau.

The city is widely referred to as having a population of 11 million. This includes migrant workers and other residents who do not have Wuhan residency registration, and who are hence not included in the national census.

The city is home to some of the top universities in China, including Huazhong University of Science and Technology (ranked ninth in the country), Wuhan University (ranked 12th) and China University of Geosciences (23rd in China).

Tennis player Li Na hails from the city, which is also famous as the birthplace of the 1911 armed uprising that eventually overthrew China’s last imperial dynasty.

In 2018 the city had 398 hospitals and 17 centers for disease control and prevention out of a total 6,340 medical institutions. 

Wuhan has a total number of 95,300 beds in hospitals and community clinics, and 136,300 people are employed in its medical institutions. 

The average life expectancy in the city is 81.29 years.

6:32 a.m. ET, January 23, 2020

A second city has been placed under lockdown

From CNN's Yuli Yang in Hong Kong

Huanggang, a neighboring city about 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Wuhan, will be effectively locked down due to risks associated with the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, Chinese state media reported.

The Hubei Huanggang New-type Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Command, a task force set up to deal with the crisis, said in a statement that at midnight, the city's subway and train stations will close, per a report in the People's Daily, a state-run newspaper. All theaters, internet cafes and indoor public culture, tourism and entertainment facilities in the city will also stop business, People's Daily reported.

Like Wuhan, Huanggang is located on the banks of the Yangtze River. The entire administrative area of Huanggang has a population of 7.5 million, but People's Daily reported that the lockdown only applies to the urban area, which is only a part of the total population.

5:28 a.m. ET, January 23, 2020

More cases confirmed throughout China

People wear face masks as they wait for arriving passengers at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing on January 23.
People wear face masks as they wait for arriving passengers at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing on January 23. Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Regional health authorities in China have confirmed 13 new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in mainland China to 611.

Eight more cases were confirmed in Beijing. Shaanxi Province and the Xinjiang Autonomous Region confirmed three and two cases, respectively.

Those are the first cases that have been confirmed in Xinjiang and Shaanxi -- meaning that of the 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, two special administrative regions and four municipalities under the control of the People's Republic of China, only five have not reported confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus as of midday Thursday.

They are:

  • Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
  • Tibet Autonomous Region
  • Gansu Province
  • Qinghai Province
  • Hong Kong

The Hong Kong government has not formally confirmed the presence of the virus in the city, but said it is investigating two "highly suspected" cases. Preliminary tests of the first individual were positive for the virus.

The self-governing island of Taiwan has reported a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

4:57 a.m. ET, January 23, 2020

"People aren't sure when shops will be going back to normal," Wuhan resident says

From CNN's Yuli Yang and Bex Wright in Hong Kong

The Wuhan New-type Coronavirus Pneumonia Command -- a task-force set up to deal with the crisis -- said in a statement that Wuhan has a sufficient supply and reserve of food, medical supplies and commodities.

"There is no need for the general public of the city to panic or hoard in order to prevent unnecessary wastes," the command said.

However, there is still unease among many in the city.

Jan Renders, a 29-year-old PhD student in Wuhan, told CNN that many shops are closing for the Lunar New Year holiday, so many people had already been stocking up on supplies. Renders, who has lived in Wuhan for the last two and a half months, said he was able to stock up on food for at least a week.

"But of course people aren't sure whether shops will be going back to normal soon," he said.

Another man in Wuhan sent CNN a picture inside a grocery store Thursday morning that showed several empty shelves. The man, who asked not to be identified, said most of the food was sold out.

This photograph taken Thursday morning shows inside a grocery store in Wuhan.
This photograph taken Thursday morning shows inside a grocery store in Wuhan.

4:32 a.m. ET, January 23, 2020

Wuhan is a London-sized city

From CNN's Maggie Hiufu Wong in Hong Kong

A man wears a mask while walking in the street on Wednesday in Wuhan
A man wears a mask while walking in the street on Wednesday in Wuhan Getty Images

Wuhan, the city where the outbreak originated, is home to more than 11 million people -- that's as big, or bigger than London, the largest city by population in the European Union.

It's the biggest city in all of central China -- and unsurprisingly, is considered the political, economic and transport capital of the region.

Located in Hubei province on the confluence of the Yangtze River and its largest tributary, the Han River, the city is often referred to as "jiu sheng tong qu," meaning it's considered the main thoroughfare of nine provinces.

In other words, Wuhan is huge and densely populated, with people coming and going every day -- making the outbreak and lockdown a nightmare for authorities, especially ahead of Lunar New Year this weekend.

To put it in perspective: The lockdown is like closing down all transportation for a city more than three times the size of Chicago, two days before Christmas.

More about Wuhan: Wuhan is a major manufacturing city with a heavy focus on automobile and medical equipment: Bosch and PSA both relocated their China headquarters to Wuhan recently.

The city, spanning 8,494 square kilometers, has played a major role in the government's plan to rejuvenate the nation's central region for more than a decade.

But the city's historical importance can be traced back more than 3,000 years. Wuhan is listed as one of the Famous Historical and Culture Cities by the state and is home to the ruins of Panlong City.

Read more about Wuhan here.