07:14 GMT18 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The government of the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the new coronavirus originates from, is imposing a temporary ban on local residents to leave the city, to prevent virus spreading, local media reported on Wednesday.

    Local health authorities said earlier in the day that the death toll from the coronavirus had climbed to 17.

    The operation of buses and subway will be suspended, as well as trips from airports and train stations, from 10 am local time on Thursday (02:00 GMT), the Global Times newspaper reported.

    An outbreak of previously unknown pneumonia was registered in Wuhan in late December, later identified as a new type of coronavirus and denoted as 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organisation. Those infected show symptoms of pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases, media reports say.

    Later, cases of pneumonia caused by the Wuhan coronavirus have been reported in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the United States, and Macau. The Chinese health authorities confirmed the virus was transmitted from person to person through coughing or sneezing.

    Concerns are growing that the Wuhan coronavirus could turn into an epidemic. Airports across the world have stepped up measures to monitor passengers for the disease.

    Over 11 million people are living in Wuhan, the capital city of the Hubei province.

    Topic:
    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (157)
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    virus, authorities, ban, health, disease, China
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