Soldiers wearing face masks screened people Thursday for the coronavirus in Wuhan, China — where doctors wore hazmat suits to treat patients sickened by the mystery illness, photos from inside the city show.
Wuhan government officials called the situation a “state of war” after a public transportation ban and other safety measures were issued in the central Chinese city where the disease emerged, according to NPR.
“Strictly implement emergency response requirements, enter into a state of war and implement wartime measures to resolutely curb the spread of this epidemic,” officials warned, according to the report.
The officials further urged residents to remain in their homes, saying, “Homes must be segregated, neighbors must be watched.”
Wuhan issued a travel ban Wednesday that suspended all public transportation in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, which has sickened more than 600 people and killed 17.
The mandate banned travel out of the central Chinese city on trains, long-haul buses and flights.
Soldiers were photographed wearing face masks as they barricaded the entrances to the city’s train stations Thursday morning to prevent travel out of Wuhan.
Cars were still allowed to leave Wuhan on Thursday, but officials began to close down major highways, NPR reported.
Officials said they were screening anyone leaving or entering the city for symptoms such as fever.
The city is home to 11 million residents, who received less than eight hours’ notice of the quarantine, according to the report.
The deadly virus can spread from person to person, but the exact nature of that transmission is not known, officials said.