The Associated Press reports:
On the eve of the Lunar New Year, transportation was shut down in at least 13 cities home to more than 36 million people. The cities are Wuhan, where the illness has been concentrated, and 12 of its neighbors in central China’s Hubei province.
Normally bustling streets, malls and other public spaces were eerily quiet in Wuhan on the second day of its lockdown. Masks were mandatory in public, and images from the city showed empty store shelves as people stocked up for what could be an extended isolation. Train stations, the airport, and subways were closed.
Hospitals in Wuhan were grappling with a flood of patients and a lack of supplies. Videos showed throngs of frantic people in masks lined up for checks. Some users on the Weibo social media site said their family members had sought diagnoses but were turned away at hospitals that were at capacity.
CBS News reports:
Authorities believe the new coronavirus, which causes flu-like symptoms, moved into the human population from an infected animal at a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Chinese health officials and the World Health Organization confirmed this week that the virus has been transmitted person-to-person, but it remains unclear how easy it is to contract it from another infected individual. The WHO on Thursday declined to declare the virus a global public health emergency, saying it was still too soon to take that measure.
As of Friday morning there were 10 patients in California, one in Texas, and one in Tennessee being held in isolation, awaiting test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether they have the disease.
China is building a 1,000-bed hospital dedicated to patients infected with the coronavirus, as the latest death toll stands at 26 and the number of confirmed cases is 880.
Work has begun on the new facility will be in Wuhan, where the illness has been concentrated, and is modeled on the Xiaotangshan SARS hospital in Beijing that was built in the wake of a similar epidemic 17 years ago.
The facility is expected to be finished for 3 February. The SARS hospital was built from scratch in 2003 in just six days to treat an outbreak of a similar respiratory virus that had spread from China to more than a dozen countries and killed about 800 people.