In the heart of Wuhan's city center is the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.
Under normal circumstances it would be packed with shoppers scrambling for fish and seafood in preparation of the Lunar New Year.
The holiday pretty much revolves around the dining table, as reunited families catch up with each other and visiting friends.
But this year the market stands empty, its entranceway cordoned-off and guarded by police and security officials in medical masks.
The usually congested streets surrounding the market are also deserted. No one here is taking any chances.
Chinese authorities and scientists have pointed to wild animals sold at the market as the likely source of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed nine people and sickened 440 inside China in a matter of weeks. The virus has also spread to Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the United States, sparking fears of a potential global pandemic.
Though the market has been closed since January 1 for disinfection, health authorities have so far been unable to determine which animals harbored the virus.
The new strain of coronavirus, which can infect both animals and humans, is in the same family as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Li Bin, China's national health commissioner, said Wednesday that officials are aware of around 2,200 cases of "close contact" with known virus carriers. Regarding suspected cases, 715 patients have been discharged while more than 300 patients remain on medical watch.