Coronavirus: Great Wall of China and Forbidden City closed as 41m put on lockdown

By Mirror | Friday, Jan 24th 2020 at 15:47
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The most popular section of the Great Wall of China is closing to visitors to prevent the spread of SARS-like coronavirus.

The Badaling section of the wall, about 50 miles north-west of Beijing, draws thousands of tourists every day.

A number of major tourist sites are closing until further notice due to the flu-like outbreak, which has killed at least 26 people and infected more than 800 others in China while spreading around the world.

Other closed sites include Beijing's Forbidden City and Shanghai's Disneyland theme park as at least 13 cities are locked down, affecting more than 41million residents.

There are fears the virus could spread rapidly during the ten-day Lunar New Year holiday, which will see hundreds of millions of Chinese residents travel domestically and abroad.

The World Health Organisation has stopped short of declaring a global emergency.

Chinese authorities have advised people to avoid crowds, and residents of Wuhan - where the outbreak started late last month - have been told not to leave the city of 11million.

Beijing also cancelled two Lunar New Year temple fairs and closed the Forbidden City, its most famous tourist attraction.

Some famous temples have also been shut.

Shanghai Disneyland, which has a 100,000 daily capacity, will close from Saturday.

Hospitals in Wuhan are struggling to cope with the outbreak and they have been running out of beds and supplies such as masks, goggles and suits.

Part of the Great Wall of China has been closed to tourists, and McDonald's has closed a number of restaurants in the affected region.

In a statement, the Shanghai Disney Resort said: "In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown including Walt Disney Grand Theatre and Wishing Star Park, starting January 25, 2020.

"We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government, and we will announce the reopening date upon confirmation."

The theme park had planned a "Year of the Mouse" celebration to coincide with Lunar New Year festivities and the beginning of the Year of the Rat.

It is one of the busiest weeks of the year for Shanghai Disneyland.

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