A boy has his mouth checked as part of measures to prevent the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) at a kindergarten in Wuhan
A boy has his mouth checked as part of measures to prevent the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) at a kindergarten in Wuhan

Beijing to suspend domestic, overseas Chinese group tours amid virus scare

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2020 23:46 IST

Beijing [China], Jan 25 (ANI): China will suspend both domestic and overseas Chinese group tours, state media reported on Saturday, as the government ramps up efforts to contain a new SARS-like virus that has infected nearly 1,300 people.
All overseas group tour services, including hotel and plane ticket bookings, from Chinese travel agencies, will be suspended from Monday, according to state broadcaster CCTV. Domestic tour groups were suspended from Friday, it said.
Authorities have also suspended the public transportation services, including railways, in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, while asking its residents not to leave the city without specific reasons, the state media said.
City buses, subways, ferries and long-distance coaches, as well as flights and trains for outgoing passengers, will be suspended until further notice, CCTV reported quoting a notice issued in the wee hours of Thursday by Wuhan's headquarters for the control and treatment of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.
The measures will be taken in a bid to "effectively cut off the virus spread, resolutely curb the outbreak and guarantee people's health and safety," the notice said.
Also, Starbucks closed all shops and suspended delivery services in China's Hubei province for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.
China has stepped up its response to a new coronavirus outbreak that has killed 41 people and infected at least 1,372 in the mainland, ordering nationwide measures to detect the virus at transport terminals.
Beijing has also expanded travel restrictions, affecting the movement of 56 million people in more than a dozen cities, amid fears that the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year.
Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a global pandemic as the virus continues to spread, with cases reported in Australia, France, the United States and seven Asian countries besides China.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has acknowledged that the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China. The organisation said it is too early to declare it a global health emergency. (ANI)