An 80-year-old man died in Hebei Province after visiting relatives for about a couple of months in Wuhan.
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76 people who have been in close contact with the man are in quarantine, but at the moment there are no signs of fever.
The deaths confirmed at the moment are 18, of which 17 in the province of Hubei alone, the epicenter of the outbreak, while the people infected are at least 647, but they could be many more.
Local authorities reacted to the state of crisis by imposing a travel ban first on Wuhan alone and then extended to seven other cities in the region: Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi, Xiantao, Qianjiang, Zhijiang, and Lichuan.
Flights, trains, buses, and ferries connecting Wuhan to other cities in Hubei have been suspended. From Friday, car-sharing services will also be suspended.
Coronavirus cases have so far been diagnosed in 23 provinces, four municipalities, Hong Kong, Macau, and six other countries.
Chinese health authorities on Thursday confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by coronavirus in individuals that had no recent travel experience to central China’s Wuhan.
The National Health Commission also reported increasing cases with no exposure to Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which is believed to be related to most of the infected cases, adding that cases without confirmed exposure to the market have been found overseas.
The Hubei authorities also suspended all operations of local travel agencies and ordered all schools to postpone the start of the spring semester. The Chinese finance ministry has announced the allocation of 1 billion yuan ($ 144 million) to combat the spread of the disease.