China locked down 10 cities at the hub of a new coronavirus outbreak that has killed 26 people and infected at least 830, as health authorities around the world took action to prevent a global pandemic.
The lockdowns on new cities encompass more than 20.5 million people.
The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged that the respiratory illness is an emergency in China, but said it is too early to declare it a global one.
Health officials fear the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday.
Regional airline cancels flights to and from Wuhan
AirAsia, one of the leading regional airlines in Asia, cancelled on Friday all flights to and from the city of Wuhan, following the Chinese government’s decision to put the city under lockdown.
“The move is meant to assist in controlling the current Wuhan novel coronavirus outbreak situation and comply with Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) requirements,” the airline said in a statement.