Wuhan, the Chinese provincial city at the center of the deadly coronavirus epidemic which has so far killed four people, will tighten the control and monitoring of outbound travelers to contain the spread.
Quarantine laws are also being invoked. Prevention and control measures are being launched to tackle the pneumonia as a public health emergency.
After weeks of silence, China has admitted the new coronavirus is spreading between people and that 15 medical workers in the provincial city are also infected. The number of people infected has soared to 217.
Of all the new cases reported yesterday, 72 were in Hubei province, two in Shanghai and three in Beijing.
Xinhua reported today that outbound tour groups have been banned, and police are carrying out spot checks on inbound and outbound private passenger vehicles for live poultry or wild animals, according to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, in Hubei province.
Reflecting the magnitude of the coronavirus danger, China's Wuhan designated nine hospitals for pneumonia treatment and 61 fever clinics.
The pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus was classified as a Class B infectious disease and will be managed as Class A infectious disease, according to an announcement by the National Health Commission yesterday.
At transport terminals including airport, rail stations, bus stations, and piers in Wuhan, 35 stationary infrared thermometers and over 300 hand-held ones are being used to screen passengers with fever. Passengers with fever will be registered, provided masks and brochures about pneumonia and advised to see doctors. Ticket cancellations and changing will be free of charge for them, according to the municipal government.
These measures came after the State Council joint task force held a teleconference yesterday chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, to discuss prevention and control of the virus outbreak.