As China struggles to contain the new coronavirus, travel has been restricted from 3 additional cities, they are: Huanggang, Ezhou and Wuhan.
The bans don’t just restrict travel, but they include the temporary closure of some public sites, including parks and movie theatres.
The dramatic steps come just hours after it was revealed that the death toll had risen from 17 to 9 the day before; and more than 570 persons now reported to having contracted the virus.
In the days prior to the new containment measures, Chinese officials had been accused in a number of unconfirmed posts of under-reporting the number of sick patients; an accusation which has roused further suspicious, following the sudden jump in numbers.
Chinese official had reported for days that the number of infected persons stood at a mere 41; then there was a sudden increase over the weekend, which saw the figure eventually being reported as 218. As of early Thursday morning, Chinese official now say the number of infected is well over 500.
The outbreak is believed to have started in late December 2019 and has been linked people connected to a seafood market in Wuhan, which has since been closed.