China Cancels Lunar New Year Celebrations, Shanghai Disney Closes As Second Case of Coronavirus Is Confirmed in the U.S. (Video)
In the days leading up to the Lunar New Year, cities and businesses across China have canceled their celebrations or temporarily closed due to the spread of coronavirus and airports around the world are taking precautions.The disease has killed at least 25 people and infected at least 800, including two people in the United States.
On Friday a second U.S.-based case of coronavirus was detected in Chicago, according to USA Today. The victim is a 60-year-old woman who is currently being hospitalized in isolation and is "clinically doing well and in stable condition." She returned from Wuhan, China, the center of the outbreak, on Jan. 13. The first stateside case of the virus was reported in Washington state.
The World Health Organization (WHO) decided against calling the outbreak a global emergency but the director-general clarified on Twitter: “Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency.”
The U.S. has also released a "Do Not Travel" advisory to Wuhan to protect citizens against the virus where the symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. USA Today noted that in more severe cases, infection can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.
Multiple cities in China have closed off their transportation systems to contain the disease and tourist attractions are closing to the public. As of Friday, 13 cities surrounding Wuhan are halting transportation which has resulted in restricting 33 million people from traveling, NBC News reported.
Shanghai Disney Resort will remain closed until further notice, starting January 25, as a response to the spread of the disease, according to Reuters. The closure comes at one of the busiest times of the year for the park, when China is on a seven-day holiday to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Disney will refund tickets for those who already purchased.
"We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government," Disney said in a statement on its website. "We will announce the reopening date upon confirmation.”
The city of Beijing canceled its large public New Year celebrations, including the traditional temple fairs that typically attract thousands of visitors. Beijing has also canceled film openings during one of the biggest movie-going weeks of the year.
Sections of the Great Wall and Beijing’s Forbidden City also announced they will indefinitely close due to the disease.
As for locals of Wuhan, those who are out in public in Wuhan must wear a mask. There is a level 2 emergency level in Hubei province, meaning all farmers’ markets and hotels are shut down indefinitely. McDonald’s shut down locations in five cities in the province.
NBC News also reported that a new hospital with the capacity to accommodate 1,000 patients is expected to open in Wuhan on February 3. It is a replica of a facility Beijing built during the SARS outbreak of 2012.
Airlines, retailers and hotels around China are on high alert against the spread of the disease, which can cause respiratory ailments.