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A scientist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention urged people in Wuhan to avoid coming into and going out of the city to prevent a deadly coronavirus from spreading further.
As of Tuesday, the outbreak of the pneumonia-like virus that was discovered in Wuhan had killed six people and infected about 300 others in China, Reuters reported, citing Chinese authorities.
Zeng Guang, the chief epidemiologist at China’s CDC, urged people in Wuhan to avoid leaving the city and said those intending to go there should avoid it if they can, according to The Washington Post.
“We hope people can avoid going to Wuhan if possible and that people in Wuhan can stay there,” he said.
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Zeng, who is leading the Chinese government’s efforts to respond to the outbreak, made clear that his recommendation was not a government-imposed quarantine.
“This is not a call from the officials but a suggestion from us in the expert team,” he said, according to The Post.
Chinese medical authorities confirmed on Monday that the coronavirus could spread from person to person.
Authorities in Asia and the US have taken precautionary measures to stop the virus from spreading, with some airport authorities scanning passengers coming from China and medics in full-body protective gear checking passengers flying out of Wuhan.
The World Health Organization called for an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss whether the virus constitutes a public-health emergency and whether any further steps are needed to prevent it from becoming a global epidemic.
Fears of the virus spreading further have heightened in the run-up to Lunar New Year this weekend, as many people travel domestically and internationally.
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