‘Governments need to implement ‘draconian’ travel curbs to stop a mystery coronavirus in China becoming a global epidemic, a team of experts mapping the outbreak said Monday.
Scientists at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) presented a briefing warning that the spread of the deadly SARS-like virus that first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan was accelerating.
‘We have to be prepared that this particular epidemic may be about to become a global epidemic,’ said Gabriel Leung, head of the team.
‘Substantial, draconian measures limiting population mobility should be taken sooner, rather than later.’
Leung leads a group of researchers who are mapping the virus, which has so far infected more than 2,800 people in China and killed 81 people.
While the epicentre remains in Wuhan and the central Chinese province of Hubei, it has since spread to some of the country’s biggest cities — including Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, and the southern cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
‘We are expecting to see epicentres of self-sustaining epidemics in these other major city clusters on the mainland,’ Leung predicted.’