BEIJING — The death toll from a new flu-like coronavirus in China rose to 17 from 9 on Wednesday, Chinese state media reported. Some 544 people have been infected across the country, according to state-run CGTN.
Starting on Jan. 23, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, public transportation in Wuhan will be temporarily suspended, including buses and metro, as well as long-distance trains and planes entering or leaving the city, CGTN reported. Authorities have been stepping up efforts to control the outbreak by discouraging public gatherings in central Hubei province, where the virus is believed to have originated at the end of last year.
On Tuesday, a case of the disease was confirmed in a U.S. patient, federal health officials said.
Earlier, health officials reported that 2,197 people who had come into close contact with infected patients in China have been isolated, with 765 so far released from observation.
National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin told reporters there was already evidence that the virus was being spread through “respiratory transmission.”