China reported 5,974 confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the country. At least 132 coronavirus death have been reported.
The pneumonia-causing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is expected to peak in a week or 10 days and “then there will be no largescale increases”, according to a reputed China-based respiratory disease expert quoted by Xinhua news agency.
Impact on industry
Beside Wuhan, another steelmaking hub Tangshan, in Hebei also shut all public bus services to control the spread of virus. Local authorities provided no details on when the services will resume.
It is widely expected that the shut down will be extended until Feb 9 as authorities advise people to stay home for another full week. The coronavirus outbreak is likely to cause less economic damage than the SARS epidemic in 2003 due to unprecedented shutdown measures to control the virus and lower fatalities, according to Barclays, while Nomura believes the outbreak would be worse than SARS.
Travel and tourism halted
International airlines flying into Shanghai and Beijing have cancelled operations. On Wednesday, British Airways suspended all flights to China. Asian airlines Lion Air and Seoul Air also suspended operations to China.
China has suspended tourism activities, including international tours. Domestic tourism in China is suspended since last Friday.
Many countries including Australia, Britain, US and India are planning to evacuate their citizens trapped in Wuhan and 16 other Chinese cities which are under lockdown. Japan airlifted 206 citizens from Wuhan on Wednesday.