5 million residents left Wuhan before lockdown, mayor reveals…

About 5 million residents left Wuhan before the lockdown because of the deadly coronavirus epidemic and the Spring Festival holiday, mayor Zhou Xianwang revealed on Sunday, as health officials ­warned the virus’ ­ability to spread was ­getting ­stronger.

There were about 9 million people remaining in the city after the lockdown, Zhou told a press conference.

Of the 2,700 people currently under observation in the city, about 1,000 were likely to be confirmed cases. As of Sunday, Wuhan had 533 confirmed cases.

The central government imposed a lockdown on Wuhan and several cities on Thursday hoping to stop the new virus from spreading to other parts of the country. However, many had already left the city for the holiday, while others rushed out after the lockdown was announced on Wednesday night.

China, meanwhile, said Premier Li Keqiang would head the high-level group to fight the
coronavirus epidemic

that has killed 80 people and infected more than 2,400 others, while health officials said the virus’s ability to spread is getting stronger.

Beijing city reported five more confirmed cases, including a nine-month-old infant. It is the first confirmed infant case. On Saturday, a two-year-old girl in Guangxi was confirmed to be infected.

www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3047720/chinese-premier-li-keqiang-head-coronavirus-crisis-team-outbreak