Restrictions include everything from self-quarantines to limits on who can come and go from neighborhoods.
On Sunday, Hubei announced new measures, including province-wide traffic restrictions on all non-emergency vehicles and the closure of all non-essential public venues. Already there are reports of residential compounds being completely sealed off, with no one able to go in or out except in rare circumstances.
Anyone suspected or confirmed to be infected with the virus, their close contacts, or anyone with a fever, should be “timely treated or placed in quarantine instead of self-isolation at home,” it said.
On the economic side, Hubei said that “companies should not resume production unless allowed by local epidemic prevention authorities.”
When did Xi know?
Officials in Hubei have faced increasing scrutiny about whether they intentionally downplayed reports of the virus when it emerged late last year, or ignored evidence that it was being spread from person-to-person, delaying any efforts to contain it before it was too late.
While the speech underlines that Xi has been personally directing the response to the outbreak — something that has been repeatedly emphasized in state media — the revelation that he knew about the virus when Hubei officials were publicly downplaying its danger, exposes him to the risk of being blamed, along with them, for failing to properly handle the outbreak in its early weeks.
At the same time, however, cities and provinces most affected by the outbreak are facing stringent new controls, on top of existing lockdowns which have left people trapped inside their homes and unable to work.
Increase in cases
So far, more than 456 cases have been confirmed aboard the ship, with 99 cases confirmed by Japanese health authorities on Monday. More are expected before the official end of the quarantine period, after which Japanese officials said it would take two or three days for passengers to disembark, during which they will be tested once again.
Taiwanese authorities on Sunday reported the island’s first death from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
The man in his mid-60s tested had a history of hepatitis B and diabetes and no history of traveling abroad. His death came as another case was confirmed in Taiwan, bringing the total number of cases on the island to 20.
While the vast majority of deaths have occurred in mainland China, there have been fatal cases of the virus in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan and France. Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than two dozen countries worldwide, affecting nearly every continent.
While more research is needed to fully understand the virus, Redfield said that the CDC has focused on surveillance to track cases and containment strategies to slow possible progression of the virus in the US.
Slowing progression gives more time for researchers to work on developing and testing a vaccine and antiviral drugs for this novel coronavirus. Currently, there is no known cure for the virus.
CNN’s Jacqueline Howard and Ben Tinker in Atlanta; Shanshan Wang, Shawn Deng, Steven Jiang and Yong Xiong in Beijing; Mick Krever in Yokohama; Helen Regan, Jessie Yeung, Carly Walsh, Laura He, Isaac Yee, Sandi Sidhu and Nectar Gan in Hong Kong; and Lindsay Isaac, Zahid Mahmood, Charles Riley and Meera Senthilingam in London contributed reporting.