Coronavirus Outbreak: Third Chinese City to Ban Long-Distance Buses Over Virus Concerns
Coronavirus Outbreak in China (Photo Credits: IANS)

Beijing, January 26: A third major city in China will ban long-distance buses, authorities said Sunday, as they scramble to contain a deadly new virus that has spread across the country.

From 6 pm (1000 GMT) Sunday, Xi'an will suspend long-distance buses and tourist chartered buses entering the city of 10 million people, local officials said on the Twitter-like Weibo platform, following the announcement of similar measures in Tianjin and Beijing.

Inter-city taxis will be suspended, except those from the city's airport, the statement said. Coronavirus Outbreak: US to Evacuate its Citizens from China Virus Epicentre Wuhan.

The measures are to stop the spread of the virus through "passenger transport by road and taxis", officials said.

Several cities and regions across China have announced travel restrictions to control the virus that has infected nearly 2,000 people and killed 56.

The strictest measures have been imposed on Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic, where people are not allowed to leave the city.

Transport bans have been placed in many other cities in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, affecting some 56 million people.

Beijing announced it will suspend buses that enter and exit the Chinese capital's boundary from Sunday, and the northern city of Tianjin will suspend long-distance buses and chartered buses that enter and leave the city starting Monday.

The southern city of Shantou announced a partial lockdown on Sunday, the first such measure taken outside the epicentre of the disease.

From midnight, non-emergency vehicles will be prohibited from entering the city of 5.6 million people, which is a 1,100-kilometre (680-mile) drive from Wuhan.

People arriving at Shantou train stations will be screened and "urged to return", said city authorities.