Health workers

In its effort to curtail the spread of a deadly new virus, Coronavirus, the Chinese government has expanded travel restrictions for two more cities, Huanggang, Ezhou after the Wuhan city was put in lockdown.

Authorities in Huanggang have suspended its public buses and trains as well as ordering cinemas and internet cafes to close their doors until further notice.

This comes hours after Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak which has 11 million people residing in the city was lockdown with all flights out of the city cancelled and residents told not to travel.

Officials are planning to close off Huanggang, a city of seven million people which is close to the city of Ezhou, which also has about one million residents.

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Since the outbreak of the virus, at least 17 people have died with more than 580 coronavirus cases confirmed, with most in China.

The virus has also been identified in eight others in Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States, where Washington authorities are monitoring at least 16 people.

The World Health Organization has not yet decided what action to take as they are expected to meet to decide whether it is an international emergency.

The British Government has quickly stepped up measures to stop the virus, as passengers on the last flight from Wuhan were directed through a separate area of London’s Heathrow airport last night.

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According to researchers, the virus, which can cause pneumonia may have been transmitted to humans from snakes.

“Recombination within the viral receptor-binding protein may have allowed for cross-species transmission from snake to humans,” the researchers said.