- Wuhan, China, was isolated from the outside world on Thursday morning, with trains, airplanes and other means of transportation suspended.
- The official number of deaths followed by the outbreak of coronavirus increased to 17, with 571 people sick.
- Authorities told people in the city not to enter or leave without a good reason. Wearing a protective mask in public is now mandatory.
- The images posted on Twitter showed rows of soldiers guarding a train station, while the exit panels showed blank destinations.
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The Chinese city of Wuhan, the center of a viral outbreak that has killed at least 17 people and infected 571, has been closed.
Starting at 10 a.m. by Thursday morning, local time, public transport had been completely closed.
Buses, airplanes, subway trains and ferries had been closed in the city of some 11 million people, an unprecedented measure in their sweeping scale.
City residents were told not to enter or leave, even using their own transportation, without an overwhelmingly good reason to do so. All organized public meetings have been canceled.
Foreign news correspondents described the departure of the city before the deadline.
Janis Mackey Frayer of NBC News said she and her colleagues left before dawn on Thursday. Tom Cheshire of Sky News It is also described to leave by road. He said his driver believed that the roads were closed behind them.
It occurred when new official figures showed that the scale of the disease, a coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV, had continued to spread.
The latest update, accurate by midnight on Wednesday, said 571 cases had been recorded in China, 17 of which have been fatal.
In the Chinese social network Weibo, the most trending topic was #WuhanLockdown, according to The New York Times.
Images of the city just after closing posted on Twitter by The Paper, a means of digital communication in Chinese.
It shows rows of Chinese soldiers outside the Hankou train station, a central transit center in Wuhan. Many people gathered outside to watch, including one who took a selfie in front of the barriers.
Inside a ticket room, an exit board showed a red sea with blank destinations. The lockers were closed and the automated machines seemed not to work.
Within the city, officials insisted on wearing mandatory facial masks in public places and encouraged people to denounce anyone who does not wear a mask to the authorities, according to the Sixth Tone media.
According to the Reuters news agency, people who went to Wuhan rushed to grocery stores to store supplies, but found many empty shelves of staples such as meat, vegetables and instant noodles. Some stores increased prices to capitalize on additional demand.
Experts cited by The New York Times said they had never tried to cut an entire city the size of Wuhan before.
Wuhan has a population similar to that of New York City, but it is an even more important transit center given its central location in China.