Wuhan, Jan 29: China has enacted extraordinary measures to contain the spread of a new coronavirus that has killed more than 130 people, infected thousands and reached some 15 countries. More than 56 million people are subject to travel curbs in Hubei province, where the virus was first detected. Public transport has been stopped in 18 cities there, with train stations shut, events cancelled and theatres, libraries and karaoke bars closed in some locations.
The epicentre of the outbreak is provincial capital Wuhan, the biggest city on lockdown, where the government has halted all travel out of the Yangtze River metropolis of 11 million. Wuhan residents have been urged to stay home and authorities have restricted car traffic in the city centre. Similar quarantine measures are being taken in nearby cities, with strict controls on weddings and funerals, temperature screenings for new arrivals, and the suspension of online taxi services.
The United States and Japan airlifted out some of their trapped nationals on Wednesday. Europeans plan a similar operation this week. – Travel restrictions – Beijing, Shanghai and other megacities have suspended the entry and departure of long-distance bus services. At least 2,000 inter-province train services have been cancelled since Friday — most until February 8-9 but some for weeks.
State broadcaster CCTV reported that 3.3 million railway trips were expected to be made on Wednesday, down more than 70 percent year-on-year. Chinese authorities have also asked citizens to delay international travel to stop the virus from spreading elsewhere overseas. Authorities had already suspended both domestic and overseas Chinese group tours over the weekend.
Businesses from tourism and other sectors in Pokhara, Nepal, engaged in discussion for short-term relief from the negative effects of Corona-virus on business. They have been arguing that foreign tourist arrivals have fallen significantly. Entrepreneurs running the tourist establishment taking loans from the banks are having trouble paying interest and other related business are also…