The Foreign Office (FCO) has warned Britons to avoid all but essential travel to the Chinese city of Wuhan, which was locked down by Chinese authorities on Wednesday (22 January) amid an ongoing outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus.
Wuhan’s 11 million residents have been advised not to leave the city in an attempt to contain the virus, which has already spread to Chinese capital Beijing and financial centre Shanghai.
Confirmed cases have been reported in the US, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. Several nations have introduced additional screening measures.
China says 17 people have died from the infection, and has confirmed more than 500 cases. However, the London-based Medical Research Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis believes the number of cases could be in the region of 4,000.
Public transport has been temporarily shut down in Wuhan in an attempt to prevent the virus spreading further.
The FCO on Wednesday strengthened its travel advice, advising against all but essential travel to Wuhan in China’s Hubei province “due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak”. Visitors are advised to comply with any additional screening measures enacted by local authorities in Wuhan.