In a measure of just how worried Beijing has become over its new coronavirus outbreak, China has expanded its new lockdown policy to two more major cities around its epicenter of Wuhan. Huanggang has over seven million people and Ezhou has more than a million, but both cities will also have their transportation systems shut down and their populations effectively quarantined in order to stop the spread the virus. Not only will residents be unable to leave, they won’t have many places to in public within them either:
On Thursday, authorities in Huanggang—a city of 7.5 million people—said they won’t let long-distance trains and buses run from the urban center and will shut its public transportation system in the lockdown zone, effective midnight Friday local time. Ezhou, another neighboring city with just over a million residents, said it would enact similar restrictions.
Huanggang is about 35 miles east of Wuhan, a city of 11 million and a major hub for travel, where the new pneumonia-causing coronavirus originated. Wuhan just hours earlier halted outbound trains and flights and shut down its public-transportation system.
The Huanggang local government also said movie theaters, internet cafes and other entertainment and cultural facilities in the city center would temporarily halt operations and a central market would be shut down for an indefinite period.