New Delhi: At least nine persons have died and more than 440 sickened after the outbreak of a new virus, Wuhan coronavirus, in China.

Officials in China are racing to contain the outbreak of the virus, whereas, the spread of the respiratory virus to Thailand, Jaoan, South Korea, Taiwan, and now the United States, is fueling fears of a broader epidemic, as China enters its busiest travel period of the year.

Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected, announced a series of new measures on Tuesday, including the cancellation of upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, which had been expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.

The new measures come after Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered “resolute efforts to curb the spread” of the virus Monday.

According to reports, Li, the Chinese health official, on Wednesday said that Wuhan and Hubei provincial authorities should tighten the regulation of farm markets and wild animals. He also urged the public to avoid crowds and minimise large gatherings.

Though the infections were first detected in Wuhan in mid-December, infrared temperature screening areas were not installed in the city’s airports and stations until January 14, according to state media.

More than 440 cases of the virus have been confirmed across China, with the majority in Wuhan itself, but also as far afield as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong province, near Hong Kong.

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