On Thursday, authorities in Huanggang—a city of 7.5 million people—said they won’t let long-distance trains and buses run from the urban center and will shut its public transportation system in the lockdown zone, effective midnight Friday local time. Ezhou, another neighboring city with just over a million residents, said it would enact similar restrictions.
Huanggang is about 35 miles east of Wuhan, a city of 11 million and a major hub for travel, where the new pneumonia-causing coronavirus originated. Wuhan just hours earlier halted outbound trains and flights and shut down its public-transportation system.
The Huanggang local government also said movie theaters, internet cafes and other entertainment and cultural facilities in the city center would temporarily halt operations and a central market would be shut down for an indefinite period.
Starting Thursday, the local government said it would inspect every person and car entering and exiting the urban center.
The new restrictions and shutdowns effectively represent a doubling down by Chinese authorities of a high-stakes strategy that experts describe as an untested approach to dealing with infectious diseases.