Wuhan closes train stations, combatting coronavirus

Wuhan railway track

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first coronavirus infection was detected, closes its train stations and airport for outgoing travelers. State media reported this on Wednesday. Wuhan is an important city on the New Silk Road, with many trains departing to Europe every week.

The closure starts on Thursday morning local time. The city has asked its residents not to leave the city from that day onwards unless there is an urgent reason. Rail freight traffic is at this point not restricted, but at standstill due to the Chinese New Year. This is expected to resume by the end of next week.


Wuhan is a city with approximately 11 million inhabitants, 1000 kilometers south of Beijing in the central province of Hubei. The coronavirus, a lung disease related to the SARS virus, broke out recently with 444 cases reported in the province.After the outbreak in Wuhan, infections have since been found in other places in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the US. The number of people who died in China is seventeen.

The virus is transmitted through humans and animals, not only directly but also when touching an object or surface with the virus on it, and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes without washing your hands. China’s transport ministry is focusing on the disinfection monitoring and protection measures in areas with a large number of passenger travel volume, including transportation hubs and cargo hub plant stations.

Global emergency

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) announces on Thursday (today) whether the outbreak of the virus is a global emergency. The organisation met on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Geneva, Switzerland.

If the corona outbreak is defined as an emergency, the UN organisation will coordinate combat internationally. So far, the WHO has declared an emergency situation six times. That happened, among other things, at outbreaks of Zika, Polio and Ebola.

Source: ANP

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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