MANILA - The usual bustle in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak of the mysterious new coronavirus started, has seen a slump since the lockdown there began, a Filipino professor based there said Thursday.
University of the Philippines political science professor Jan Robert Go, who has been staying in Wuhan for doctorate studies, said that "fewer people (were) outside and the roads (were) almost clear" as public transportation in the city was suspended as early as 10 a.m. Thursday.
"Only private cars, bicycles are on the streets since 10 a.m. The metro city buses are already suspended," Go told ANC.
Establishments in the city were also closed, he said.
Go said authorities also announced road and street closures throughout the city until 9 p.m. Thursday to disinfect the area.
"The announcement was just for today so I don't know if they will be doing this on a daily basis," he said.
Amid the coronavirus scare in the city, Go said the Chinese are optimistic about overcoming the outbreak.
"What they were talking about, mainly, is trying to encourage people that this will be fine, we will be able to overcome this particular issue and things will be better soon. I think that's the spirit now that is prevailing among the Chinese people here," he said.
Beijing earlier put the city of 11 million people on lockdown following reports that the coronavirus has killed 17 and infected nearly 600 people.
The previously unknown coronavirus strain is believed to have emerged in late 2019 from illegally traded wildlife at an animal market in Wuhan.
Wuhan residents have called for help and shared worries of food shortages, with some on the "verge of tears."
- with reports from Agence France-Presse and Reuters