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2020 coronavirus lockdown in Hubei
Part of the COVID-19 pandemic
Policemen wearing masks patrolling Wuhan Tianhe Airport during Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.jpg
A nurse measuring the body temperature for outpatients in Hubei TCM Hospital.jpg
Citizens of Wuhan lining up outside of a drug store to buy masks during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.jpg
Staff monitoring passengers' body temperature in Wuhan railway station during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.jpg
Passengers lining up in Wuhan railway station for their body temperature to be checked during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.jpg
Blocked Prefectures and Municipalities in mainland China due to COVID-<p>On 23 January 2020, the <a style=central government of China imposed a lockdown in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei in an effort to quarantine the center of an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); this action is commonly referred to as the Wuhan lockdown (Chinese: 武汉封城; pinyin: Wǔhàn fēng chéng). The World Health Organization (WHO), although stating that it was beyond its own guidelines, commended the move, calling it "unprecedented in public health history".[2]

The lockdown in Wuhan set the precedent for similar measures in other Chinese cities. Within hours of the Wuhan lockdown, travel restrictions were also imposed on the nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou, and were eventually imposed on all 15 other cities in Hubei, affecting a total of about 57 million people.[3][4] On 2 February 2020, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, implemented a seven-day lockdown in which only one person per household was allowed to exit once each two days, and most of the highway exits were closed.[5] On 13 March 2020, Huangshi[6] and Qianjiang[7] became the first Hubei cities to remove strict travel restrictions within part or all of their administrative confines. On April 8, 2020, the Wuhan lockdown officially ended.[8]

Some Western observers, such as Amnesty International, were initially skeptical of the lockdown;[9][10] however, as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened, similar measures were enacted around the globe.

Background

Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province in China. With a population of over 11 million, it is the largest city in Hubei, the most populous city in Central China, the seventh-most populous Chinese city, and one of the nine National Central Cities of China. Wuhan lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain, on the confluence of the Yangtze River and its largest tributary, the Han River. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways passing through the city and connecting to other major cities. Because of its key role in domestic transport, Wuhan is known as the "Nine Provinces' Thoroughfare" (九省通衢)[11] and sometimes referred to as "the Chicago of China".[12][13][14]

Lockdowns

Hubei

The last train on the Wuhan Metro before the lockdown
Map of locked down administrative divisions of Hubei

In mid-December 2019 the Chinese Government acknowledged an emerging cluster of people, many linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, were infected with pneumonia with no clear causes. Chinese scientists subsequently linked the pneumonia to a new strain of coronavirus that was given the initial designation 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Some of the first symptoms appeared on December 10, and 24 cases were later discovered to have connection to the seafood market.[15]

On 10 January 2020, the first death and 41 clinically confirmed infections caused by the coronavirus were reported.[16]

By 22 January, the novel coronavirus had spread to major cities and provinces in China, with 571 confirmed cases and 17 deaths reported. Confirmed cases were also reported in other regions and countries, including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

According to Li Lanjuan, a professor at Zhejiang University's school of medicine and member of the high-level expert team convened by the National Health Commission, she had urged a lockdown on Wuhan on several occasions between 19 January and 22 January 2020 as a last resort to contain the epidemic.[17]

At 2 am on 23 January, authorities issued a notice informing residents of Wuhan that from 10 am, all public transport, including buses, railways, flights, and ferry services would be suspended. The Wuhan Airport, the Wuhan railway station, and the Wuhan Metro were all closed. The residents of Wuhan were also not allowed to leave the city without permission from the authorities.[18][19] The notice caused an exodus from Wuhan. An estimated 300,000 people were reported to have left Wuhan by train alone before the 10 am lockdown.[20] By the afternoon of 23 January, the authorities began shutting down some of the major highways leaving Wuhan.[21] The lockdown came two days before the Chinese New Year, the most important festival in the country, and traditionally the peak traveling season, when millions of Chinese travel across the country.[18][21]

Following the lockdown of Wuhan, public transportation systems in two of Wuhan's neighboring prefecture-level cities, Huanggang and Ezhou, were also placed on lockdown.[18] A total of 12 other county to prefecture-level cities in Hubei, including Huangshi, Jingzhou, Yichang, Xiaogan, Jingmen, Suizhou, Xianning, Qianjiang, Xiantao, Shiyan, Tianmen and Enshi, were placed on traveling restrictions by the end of 24 January, bringing the number of people affected by the restriction to more than 50 million.[1]

Lockdown timeline

  • 23 January, transport in Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou severely restricted, including closure of public transit, trains, airports, and major highways
  • 24 January, travel restrictions enacted in 12 additional prefecture-level cities in Hubei
  • 13 February, the Chinese government has issued extension of order to shut down all non-essential companies, including manufacturing plants, in Hubei Province until at least 24:00 20 February.[22]
  • 20 February, the Chinese government has issued extension of order to shut down all non-essential companies, including manufacturing plants, and all schools in Hubei Province until at least 24:00 10 March.[23]
  • 13 March: Huangshi removes controls and permits on road traffic within its urban area;[6] Qianjiang doe

    The lockdown in Wuhan set the precedent for similar measures in other Chinese cities. Within hours of the Wuhan lockdown, travel restrictions were also imposed on the nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou, and were eventually imposed on all 15 other cities in Hubei, affecting a total of about 57 million people.[3][4] On 2 February 2020, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, implemented a seven-day lockdown in which only one person per household was allowed to exit once each two days, and most of the highway exits were closed.[5] On 13 March 2020, Huangshi[6] and Qianjiang[7] became the first Hubei cities to remove strict travel restrictions within part or all of their administrative confines. On April 8, 2020, the Wuhan lockdown officially ended.[8]

    Some Western observers, such as Amnesty International, were initially skeptical of the lockdown;[9][10] however, as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened, similar measures were enacted around the globe.

    Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province in China. With a population of over 11 million, it is the largest city in Hubei, the most populous city in Central China, the seventh-most populous Chinese city, and one of the nine National Central Cities of China. Wuhan lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain, on the confluence of the Yangtze River and its largest tributary, the Han River. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways passing through the city and connecting to other major cities. Because of its key role in domestic transport, Wuhan is known as the "Nine Provinces' Thoroughfare" (九省通衢)[11] and sometimes referred to as "the Chicago of China".[12][13][14]

    Lockdowns

    Hubei

    The last train on the Wuhan Metro before the lockdown
    In mid-December 2019 the Chinese Government acknowledged an emerging cluster of people, many linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, were infected with pneumonia with no clear causes. Chinese scientists subsequently linked the pneumonia to a new strain of coronavirus that was given the initial designation 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Some of the first symptoms appeared on December 10, and 24 cases were later discovered to have connection to the seafood market.[15]

    On 10 January 2020, the first death and 41 clinically confirmed infections caused by the coronavirus were reported.[16]

    By 22 January, the novel coronavirus had spread to major cities and provinces in China, with 571 confirmed cases and 17 deaths reported. Confirmed cases were also reported in other regions and countries, including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

    According to Li Lanjuan, a professor at Zhejiang University's school of medicine and member of the high-level expert team convened by the National Health Commission, she had urged a lockdown on Wuhan on several occasions between 19 January and 22 January 2020 as a last resort to contain the epidemic.[17]

    At 2 am on 23 January, authorities issued a notice informing residents of Wuhan that from 10 am, all public transport, including buses, railways, flights, and ferry services would be suspended. The Wuhan Airport, the Wuhan railway station, and the Wuhan Metro were all closed. The residents of Wuhan were also not allowed to leave the city without permission from the authorities.[18][19] The notice caused an exodus from Wuhan. An estimated 300,000 people were reported to have left Wuhan by train alone before the 10 am lockdown.[20] By the afternoon of 23 January, the authorities began shutting down some of the major highways leaving Wuhan.[21] The lockdown came two days before the Chinese New Year, the most important festival in the country, and traditionally the peak traveling season, when millions of Chinese travel across the country.[18][21]

    Following the lockdown of Wuhan, public transportation systems in two of Wuhan's neig

    On 10 January 2020, the first death and 41 clinically confirmed infections caused by the coronavirus were reported.[16]

    By 22 January, the novel coronavirus had spread to major cities and provinces in China, with 571 confirmed cases and 17 deaths reported. Confirmed cases were also reported in other regions and countries, including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

    According to Li Lanjuan, a professor at Zhejiang University's school of medicine and member of the high-level expert team convened by the National Health Commission, she had urged a lockdown on Wuhan on several occasions between 19 January and 22 January 2020 as a last resort to contain the epidemic.[17]

    At 2 am on 23 January, authorities issued a notice informing residents of Wuhan that from 10 am, all public transport, including buses, railways, flights, and ferry services would be suspended. The Wuhan Airport, the Wuhan railway station, and the Wuhan Metro were all closed. The residents of Wuhan were also not allowed to leave the city without permission from the authorities.[18][19] The notice caused an exodus from Wuhan. An estimated 300,000 people were reported to have left Wuhan by train alone before the 10 am lockdown.[20] By the afternoon of 23 January, the authorities began shutting down some of the major highways leaving Wuhan.[21] The lockdown came two days before the Chinese New Year, the most important festival in the country, and traditionally the peak traveling season, when millions of Chinese travel across the country.[18][21]

    Following the lockdown of Wuhan, public transportation systems in two of Wuhan's neighboring prefecture-level cities, Huanggang and Ezhou, were also placed on lockdown.[18] A total of 12 other county to prefecture-level cities in Hubei, including Huangshi, Jingzhou, Yichang, Xiaogan, Jingmen, Suizhou, Xianning, Qianjiang, Xiantao, Shiyan, Tianmen and Enshi, were placed on traveling restrictions by the end of 24 January, bringing the number of people affected by the restriction to more than 50 million.[1]

    On 1 February in Huanggang, Hubei implemented a measure whereby only one person from each household is permitted to go outside for provisions once every two days, except for medical reasons or to work at shops or pharmacies. Many cities, districts, and counties across mainland China implemented similar measures in the days following, including Wenzhou, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Harbin, and the whole of Jiangxi.

    Chinese administrative divisions with household-based outdoor restrictions
    Administrative
    division
    Division
    Level
    Provincial
    division
    Start date End date Ordinary
    population
    Population
    year
    Notes Sources
    Huanggang Prefectural Hubei 2020-02-01 2020-03-22 6,162,069 2010 [44]
    Wenzhou Prefectural Zhejiang 2020-02-02 2020-02-08 9,190,000 2017
    Wenling Prefectural Zhejiang 2020-02-02 1,366,800 2010
    Fangchenggang Prefectural Guangxi 2020-02-02 2020-02-08 860,100 2010
    Guigang Prefectural Guangxi 2020-02-02 1,562,200
    (Urban only)
    2010 Urban districts only
    Yuzhou, Yulin District Guangxi 2020-02-02 2020-02-09 900,000 2010
    Zhouzhi, Xi'an County Shaanxi 2020-02-02 562,768 2010 One person per household every day
    Huyi, Xi'an District Shaanxi 2020-02-03 2020-02-09 556,377 2010 One person per household every day
    Bengbu Prefectural Anhui 2020-02-03 3,164,467 2010
    Huaibei Prefectural Anhui 2020-02-03 2,114,276 2010
    Bincheng,
    Binzhou
    District Shandong 2020-02-03 2020-02-09 682,717 2010
    Taizhou Prefectural Zhejiang 2020-02-03 5,968,838 2010
    Hangzhou Prefectural Zhejiang 2020-02-04 9,806,000 2017
    Ezhou Prefectural Hubei 2020-02-04 1,048,668 2010
    Fuzhou Prefectural Fujian 2020-02-04 7,660,000 2017
    Xuzhou Prefectural Jiangsu 2020-02-04 2020-02-08 8,577,225 2010
    Jingdezhen Prefectural Jiangxi 2020-02-04 2020-03-31 1,655,000 2015 [45]
    Harbin Prefectural Heilongjiang 2020-02-04 10,635,971 2010
    Yicheng,
    Zhumadian
    District Henan 2020-02-04 721,723 2010 One person per household every five days
    Xincheng, Xi'an District Shaanxi 2020-02-04 589,739 2010
    Chang'an, Xi'an District Shaanxi 2020-02-04 1,083,285 2010
    Yanta, Xi'an District Shaanxi 2020-02-05 1,178,529 2010
    Lianhu, Xi'an District Shaanxi 2020-02-05 712,300 2015
    Ningbo Prefectural Zhejiang 2020-02-05 8,202,000 2018
    Hailing, Taizhou District Jiangsu 2020-02-05 594,656 2010
    Hefei Prefectural Anhui 2020-02-05 7,965,300 2017
    Fuyang Prefectural Anhui 2020-02-05 2020-02-08 7,599,913 2010
    Benxi Prefectural Liaoning 2020-02-05 1,709,538 2017
    Ngawa Autonomous
    Prefecture
    Sichuan 2020-02-05 930,100 2015
    Garzê Autonomous
    Prefecture
    Sichuan 2020-02-05 1,164,900 2015
    Liuzhou Prefectural Guangxi 2020-02-05 3,758,700 2010
    Guilin Prefectural Guangxi 2020-02-05 4,961,600 2015
    Jinchengjiang,
    Hechi
    District Guangxi 2020-02-05 330,131 2010 One person per household every day
    Jiangxi Province 2020-02-06 2020-03-31 45,200,000 2013 [45]
    Xianyang Prefectural Shaanxi 2020-02-06 5,096,001 2010
    Jinzhou Prefectural Liaoning 2020-02-06 3,070,000 2010
    Kuancheng,
    Changchun
    District Jilin 2020-02-06 680,631 2010
    Tangshan Prefectural Hebei 2020-02-07 7,935,800 2018
    Baodi, Tianjin District Tianjin 2020-02-09 799,057 2010
    Hubei Province 2020-02-16 2020-03-13
    ~2020-04-08
    59,020,000 2018
    Suifenhe County Heilongjiang 2020-04-08 69,607 2018 One person per household every three days
    All 233,511,355 Sum of census data and population estimates above
    Closed management in Jintan District, Changzhou, Jiangsu, where citizens are allowed outside for purchasing once every two days with permit.
    Some areas took road closure measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Pictured is a road closure notice on Tianhe Road, Yucheng Neibourhood, Yuhuan, Zhejiang.
    A slogan for road closure in Lyushunkou District, Dalian, Liaoning.
    Chinese: 封闭式管理; pinyin: fēngbìshì guǎnlǐ) on a community-basis. In most of the areas where this came into effect, villages, communities, and units in most areas would only keep one entrance and exit point open, and each household is allowed limited numbers of entrances and exits. In some places, night-time access is prohibited, effectively a curfew, and in extreme cases, access is prohibited throughout the day.[46] People entering and leaving are required to wear masks and receive temperature tests. In some areas, vouchers are issued to the public, with vouchers and valid credentials. There are also areas where people are allowed to declare on WeChat mini-programs or public accounts and some apps at the same time.[47] Courier and food delivery personnel are usually prohibited from entering. Control in communities with confirmed cases is more stringent.

    List by the time of official announcement:

    Closed management of communities in Mainland China during the COVID-19 outbreak
    Start Date Province-level
    Division
    Prefecture-level
    Division
    County-level
    Division
    End
    Date
    Population As of Year Sources and Notes
    1/31 Chongqing City N/A Wanzhou District
    N/A Liangping District
    Ningxia Hui
    Autonomous Region
    Wuzhong City N/A
    Yinchuan City N/A
    2/2 Zhejiang Province Wenzhou City N/A [48][49][50][51][52]
    2/3 Jiangsu Province Huai'an City N/A [53]
    Wuxi City Jiangyin City [54]
    2/4 Zhejiang Province Hangzhou City N/A [55][56]
    Ningbo City N/A
    Henan Province Zhengzhou City N/A
    Zhumadian City N/A
    Shandong Province Linyi City N/A
    Heilongjiang Province Harbin City N/A
    Jiangsu Province Nanjing City N/A [57]
    Xuzhou City N/A until 24:00 on 8 February
    Changzhou City N/A [58]
    Nantong City N/A [59]
    Zhenjiang City N/A [60]
    Taizhou City Jiangyan District [61]
    Fujian Province Fuzhou City N/A
    Jiangxi Province Jingdezhen City N/A [62]
    2/5 Hainan Province Haikou City N/A
    Sanya City N/A [63]
    Yunnan Province Kunming City N/A
    Shandong Province Qingdao City N/A
    Jinan City N/A
    Tai'an City N/A
    Rizhao City N/A
    Jiangxi Province Nanchang City N/A
    Anhui Province Hefei City N/A
    Guangxi Zhuang
    Autonomous Region
    Nanning City N/A
    Hebei Province Shijiazhuang City N/A
    Jiangsu Province Yangzhou City N/A [64]
    Taizhou City N/A [65]
    Suqian City N/A [66]
    Yancheng City Buning County [67]
    2/6 Liaoning Province N/A N/A
    Jiangxi Province N/A N/A [68]
    Jilin Province Jilin City N/A
    Anhui Province Ma'anshan City N/A
    Guangdong Province Zhuhai City N/A
    Sichuan Province Ya'an City N/A
    Neijiang City N/A
    Jiangsu Province Suzhou City N/A [69]
    2/7 Hubei Province N/A N/A Community closed management further added on 10 February
    Anhui Province N/A N/A [70]
    Tianjin City Impacts and reactions

    The exodus from Wuhan before the lockdown has resulted in angry responses on the Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo from residents in other cities who are concerned that it could result in spreading of the novel coronavirus to their cities. Some in Wuhan are concerned with the availability of provisions and especially medical supplies during the lockdown.[21][82]

    The World Health Organization called the Wuhan lockdown "unprecedented" and said it showed "how committed the authorities are to contain a viral breakout". However, WHO clarified that the move is not a recommendation that WHO had made and authorities have to wait and see how effective it is.[2] The WHO has separately stated that the possibility of locking down an entire city like this is "new to science".[83]

    The CSI 300 Index, an aggregate measure of the top 300 stocks in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, dropped almost 3% on 23 January 2020, the biggest single-day loss in almost 9 months, after the Wuhan lockdown was announced as investors spooked by the drastic measure sought safe haven for their investments.[84]

    The unprecedented scale of this lockdown generated controversy, and at least one expert criticized this measure as "risky business" that "could very easily backfire" by forcing otherwise healthy people in Wuhan to stay in close conditions with infected people.[85] Drawing a cordon sanitaire around a city of 11 million people raises inevitable ethical concerns. It also drew comparisons to the lockdown of the poor West Point neighbourhood in Liberia during the 2014 ebola outbreak, which was lifted after ten days.[85][86]

    The lockdown has caused panic in the city of Wuhan, and many have expressed concern about the city's ability to cope with the outbreak. At the time, some experts question the whether the large costs such a vast lockdown, both financially and in terms of personal liberty, will translate to effective infection control.[83] Medical historian Howard Markel argued that the Chinese government "may now be overreacting, imposing an unjustifiable burden on the population," and claimed that "incremental restrictions, enforced steadily and transparently, tend to work far better than draconian measures."[87] Others, such as Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have defended the intent behind the lockdowns, citing that the lockdowns have bought the world a "delay to essentially prepare better." Mathematical epidemiologist Gerardo Chowell of Georgia State University stated that based on mathematical modelling, "containment strategies implemented in China are successfully reducing transmission."[88]

    However, as the global COVID-19 pandemic worsened, similar lockdown measures were enacted around the world. After northern Italy became a new hotspot of the outbreak in late February, the Italian government has enacted what has been called a "Wuhan-style lockdown," by quarantining nearly a dozen towns of 50,000 people in the provinces of Lombardy and Veneto.[89][90] Iran, another developing hotspot for the coronavirus as of 25 February, has come under calls to assume similar lockdown procedures as China and Italy. Security experts such as Gal Luft of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington, have said that "The best way for Iran to deal with the disease is to do precisely what China has done – quarantine." and that "If Wuhan with its 11 million population can be under quarantine, so can Tehran with its 8 million"[91] By 2020, public health experts estimated that the Wuhan lockdown prevented between 500,000 and 3 million infections and between 18,000 and 70,000 deaths.[92]

    Reactions and measures outside Mainland China

    Strict surveillance measures are being enforced at airports, seaports, and border crossings to prevent the disease spreading to countries or territories in the region. Accordingly, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and some ASEAN countries (notably Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam) are thermally monitoring passengers arriving at their major international airports, while flights from and/or to Wuhan ceased operating. Activity through gateways in Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam are put under extra supervision from the Government and medical staffs. North Korea banned international flights and foreign visitors, and Papua New Guinea banned travelers from all Asian countries.

    An analysis of air travel patterns was used to map and predict patterns of spread and was published in the Journal of Travel Medicine in mid-January 2020. Based on information from the International Air Transport Association (2018), Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Taipei had the largest volume of travelers from Wuhan. Dubai, Sydney, and Melbourne were also reported as popular destinations for people travelling from Wuhan. Using the validated tool, the Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index (IDVI), to assess the ability to manage a disease threat, Bali was reported as least able in preparedness, while cities in Australia were considered most able.[93][94]

    As a result of the outbreak, many countries including most of the Schengen Area, Armenia, Australia, Iraq, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the United States have imposed temporary entry bans on Chinese citizens or recent visitors to China, or have ceased issuing visas and reimposed visa requirements on Chinese citizens.[95][96][97][98][99][100][101][102][103][104][105][106]

    Countries and territories in the region, including Hong Kong, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam have also responded with border tightening/closures with the mainland China.[107] On 22 January North Korea closed its borders to international tourists to prevent the spread of the virus into the country. Chinese visitors make up the bulk of foreign tourists to North Korea.[108]

    Also on 22 January, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that it would be moving the matches in the third round of the 2020 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament from Wuhan to Nanjing, affecting the women's national team squads from Australia, China PR, Chinese Taipei, and Thailand.[109] A few days later, the AFC announced that together with Football Federation Australia they would be moving the matches to Sydney.[110] The Asia-Pacific Olympic boxing qualifiers, which were originally set to be held in Wuhan from 3 to 14 February, were also cancelled and moved to Amman, Jordan, to be held between 3 and 11 March.[111][112]

    On 23 January, the United States Department of State ordered evacuation of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members from Wuhan.[113] On 27 January the United States CDC issued updated travel guidance for China, recommending that travellers avoid all nonessential travel to all of the country. The CDC has directed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to check individuals for symptoms of the coronavirus.[114]

    On 29 January British Airways cancelled all their flights to mainland China as a reaction to the spread of the virus.[115] Lufthansa followed hours later by also suspending all their flights.[116] Lion Air and Air Seoul also suspended all their flights.[117] The same day, Czechia stopped issuing Schengen Visas to Chinese citizens.[118]

    On 30 January Belgium, Greece, and Italy closed all Schengen Visa application centers in China.[119][120][121] The same day, Egyptair announced suspension of flights between Egypt and Hangzhou starting 1 February 2020 while those to Beijing and Guangzhou will be suspended starting 4 February 2020 until further notice.[122]

    On 31 January Italy closed all passenger air traffic between Italy and China and Taiwan. The Italian Civil Aviation Authority NOTAM says that effective 31 January, all passenger flights from China, including the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, and Taiwan are suspended until further notice, on request of the Italian health authorities. Aircraft that were flying to Italy when the NOTAM was published, were cleared to land.[121][123]

    On 1 February after Belgium, Czechia, Greece, and Italy, all other Schengen countries' visa application centers were closed, with the exception of France, suspending the issuing of visas to Chinese citizens.[95]

    Qatar Airways took the decision to suspend flights to mainland China from 3 February until further notice, due to significant operational challenges caused by entry restrictions imposed by several countries.[124] Qatar Airways is the first carrier in the Middle East to do so. An ongoing review of operations will be conducted weekly with the intention to reinstate flights as soon as the restrictions are lifted.[124]

    Though some of the airlines cancelled flights to Hong Kong as well, British Airways, Finnair, and Lufthansa have not, and American Airlines continues operating a limited service to the area. Hong Kong's four airlines halved the flights to mainland China.[125] The following airlines have so far reduced or cancelled flights to and from China:[126][127][128][129][130][131][132][133]

    On 31 January the United States declared the virus a public health emergency. Starting 2 February, all inbound passengers who have been to Hubei in the previous 14 days will be put under quarantine for up to 14 days. Any U.S. citizen who has traveled to the rest of mainland China will be allowed to continue their travel home if they are asymptomatic, but will be monitored by local health departments.[134]

    On 1 February Vietnam suspended all flights to and from China.[129]

    On 2 February India issued a travel advisory that warned all people residing in India to not travel to China, suspended E-visas from China, and further stated anyone who has traveled to China starting 15 January (to an indefinite point in the future) could be quarantined.[135] New Zealand announced that it will deny entry to all travellers from China and that it will order its citizens to self-isolate for 14 days if they are returning from China.[136] Indonesia and Iraq followed by also banning all travellers that visited China within the past 14 days.Sina Weibo from residents in other cities who are concerned that it could result in spreading of the novel coronavirus to their cities. Some in Wuhan are concerned with the availability of provisions and especially medical supplies during the lockdown.[21][82]

    The World Health Organization called the Wuhan lockdown "unprecedented" and said it showed "how committed the authorities are to contain a viral breakout". However, WHO clarified that the move is not a recommendation that WHO had made and authorities have to wait and see how effect

    The World Health Organization called the Wuhan lockdown "unprecedented" and said it showed "how committed the authorities are to contain a viral breakout". However, WHO clarified that the move is not a recommendation that WHO had made and authorities have to wait and see how effective it is.[2] The WHO has separately stated that the possibility of locking down an entire city like this is "new to science".[83]

    The CSI 300 Index, an aggregate measure of the top 300 stocks in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, dropped almost 3% on 23 January 2020, the biggest single-day loss in almost 9 months, after the Wuhan lockdown was announced as investors spooked by the drastic measure sought safe haven for their investments.[84]

    The unprecedented scale of this lockdown generated controversy, and at least one expert criticized this measure as "risky business" that "could very easily backfire" by forcing otherwise healthy people in Wuhan to stay in close conditions with infected people.[85] Drawing a cordon sanitaire around a city of 11 million people raises inevitable ethical concerns. It also drew comparisons to the lockdown of the poor West Point neighbourhood in Liberia during the 2014 ebola outbreak, which was lifted after ten days.[85][86]

    The lockdown has caused panic in the city of Wuhan, and many have expressed concern about the city's ability to cope with the outbreak. At the time, some experts question the whether the large costs such a vast lockdown, both financially and in terms of personal liberty, will translate to effective infection control.[83] Medical historian Howard Markel argued that the Chinese government "may now be overreacting, imposing an unjustifiable burden on the population," and claimed that "incremental restrictions, enforced steadily and transparently, tend to work far better than draconian measures."[87] Others, such as Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have defended the intent behind the lockdowns, citing that the lockdowns have bought the world a "delay to essentially prepare better." Mathematical epidemiologist Gerardo Chowell of Georgia State University stated that based on mathematical modelling, "containment strategies implemented in China are successfully reducing transmission."[88]

    However, as the global COVID-19 pandemic worsened, similar lockdown measures were enacted around the world. After northern Italy became a new hotspot of the outbreak in late February, the Italian government has enacted what has been called a "Wuhan-style lockdown," by quarantining nearly a dozen towns of 50,000 people in the provinces of Lombardy and Veneto.[89][90] Iran, another developing hotspot for the coronavirus as of 25 February, has come under calls to assume similar lockdown procedures as China and Italy. Security experts such as Gal Luft of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington, have said that "The best way for Iran to deal with the disease is to do precisely what China has done – quarantine." and that "If Wuhan with its 11 million population can be under quarantine, so can Tehran with its 8 million"[91] By 2020, public health experts estimated that the Wuhan lockdown prevented between 500,000 and 3 million infections and between 18,000 and 70,000 deaths.[92]

    Strict surveillance measures are being enforced at airports, seaports, and border crossings to prevent the disease spreading to countries or territories in the region. Accordingly, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and some ASEAN countries (notably Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam) are thermally monitoring passengers arriving at their major international airports, while flights from and/or to Wuhan ceased operating. Activity through gateways in Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam are put under extra supervision from the Government and medical staffs. North Korea banned international flights and foreign visitors, and Papua New Guinea banned travelers from all Asian countries.

    An analysis of air travel patterns was used to map and predict patterns of spread and was published in the Journal of Travel Medicine in mid-January 2020. Based on information from the International Air Transport Associat

    An analysis of air travel patterns was used to map and predict patterns of spread and was published in the Journal of Travel Medicine in mid-January 2020. Based on information from the International Air Transport Association (2018), Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Taipei had the largest volume of travelers from Wuhan. Dubai, Sydney, and Melbourne were also reported as popular destinations for people travelling from Wuhan. Using the validated tool, the Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index (IDVI), to assess the ability to manage a disease threat, Bali was reported as least able in preparedness, while cities in Australia were considered most able.[93][94]

    As a result of the outbreak, many countries including most of the Schengen Area, Armenia, Australia, Iraq, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the United States have imposed temporary entry bans on Chinese citizens or recent visitors to China, or have ceased issuing visas and reimposed visa requirements on Chinese citizens.[95][96][97][98][99][100][101][102][103][104][105][106]

    Countries and territories in the region, including Hong Kong, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam have also responded with border tightening/closures with the mainland China.[107] On 22 January North Korea closed its borders to international tourists to prevent the spread of the virus into the country. Chinese visitors make up the bulk of foreign tourists to North Korea.[108]

    Also on 22 January, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that it would be moving the matches in the third round of the 2020 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament from Wuhan to Nanjing, affecting the women's national team squads from Australia, China PR, Chinese Taipei, and Thailand.[109] A few days later, the AFC announced that together with Football Federation Australia they would be moving the matches to Sydney.[110] The Asia-Pacific Olympic boxing qualifiers, which were originally set to be held in Wuhan from 3 to 14 February, were also cancelled and moved to Amman, Jordan, to be held between 3 and 11 March.[111][112]

    On 23 January, the United States Department of State ordered evacuation of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members from Wuhan.[113] On 27 January the United States CDC issued updated travel guidance for China, recommending that travellers avoid all nonessential travel to all of the country. The CDC has directed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to check individuals for symptoms of the coronavirus.[114]

    On 29 January British Airways cancelled all their flights to mainland China as a reaction to the spread of the virus.[115] Lufthansa followed hours later by also suspending all their flights.[116] Lion Air and Air Seoul also suspended all their flights.[117] The same day, Czechia stopped issuing Schengen Visas to Chinese citizens.[118]

    On 30 January Belgium, Greece, and Italy closed all Schengen Visa application centers in China.[119][120][121] The same day, Egyptair announced suspension of flights between Egypt and Hangzhou starting 1 February 2020 while those to Beijing and Guangzhou will be suspended starting 4 February 2020 until further notice.[122]

    On 31 January Italy closed all passenger air traffic between Italy and China and Taiwan. The Italian Civil Aviation Authority NOTAM says that effective 31 January, all passenger flights from China, including the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, and Taiwan are suspended until further notice, on request of the Italian health authorities. Aircraft that were flying to Italy when the NOTAM was published, were cleared to land.[121][123]

    On 1 February after Belgium, Czechia, Greece, and Italy, all other Schengen countries' visa application centers were closed, with the exception of France, suspending the issuing of visas to Chinese citizens.[95]

    Qatar Airways took the decision to suspend flights to mainland China from 3 February until further notice, due to significant operational challenges caused by entry restrictions imposed by several countries.[124] Qatar Airways is the first carrier in the Middle East to do so. An ongoing review of operations will be conducted weekly with the intention to reinstate flights as soon as the restrictions are lifted.[124]

    Though some of the airlines cancelled flights to Hong Kong as well, British Airways, Finnair, and Lufthansa have not, and American Airlines continues operating a limited service to the area. Hong Kong's four airlines halved the flights to mainland China.[125] The following airlines have so far reduced or cancelled flights to and from China:[126][127][128][129][130][131][132][133]

    On 31 January the United States declared the virus a public health emergency. Starting 2 February, all inbound passengers who have been to Hubei in the previous 14 days will be put under quarantine for up to 14 days. Any U.S. citizen who has traveled to the rest of mainland China will be allowed to continue their travel home if they are asymptomatic, but will be monitored by local health departments.[134]

    On 1 February Vietnam suspended all flights to and from China.[129]

    On 2 February India issued a travel advisory that warned all people residing in India to not travel to China, suspended E-visas from China, and further stated anyone who has traveled to China starting 15 January (to an indefinite point in the future) could be quarantined.[135] New Zealand announced that it will deny entry to all travellers from China and that it will order its citizens to self-isolate for 14 days if they are returning from China.[136] Indonesia and Iraq followed by also banning all travellers that visited China within the past 14 days.[136]

    On 3 February Indonesia announced it would ban passenger flights and also sea freights from and to China start on 5 February until further notice. In addition, live animal imports and other products followed by this decision. Minister of Trade Agus Suparmanto said "We will obviously stop live animals imports from China and are still considering banning other products".[137][138][139] Turkey announced it would suspend all flights from China until the end of February and begin scanning passengers coming from South Asian countries at airports.[140][141]

    References

    1. ^ a b 武汉肺炎病毒持续扩散 湖北下令封15个城市 | DW | 24 January 2020 (in Chinese). Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 24 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.