China has extended its coronavirus lockdown to within nearly 100 miles of Shanghai today with a further 12million people now under quarantine.
Millions of residents in the cities of Taizhou, Hangzhou and Ningbo were told that only one person per household can go outside every two days to buy goods.
People in Taizhou will have to present ID every time they leave their residential communities, and train services into the city have been suspended.
Many Hangzhou residents have also been ordered to wear face masks and have their temperatures checked to stop the spread of the virus.
Hangzhou is only 110 miles from Shanghai and the city has reported 200 coronavirus cases so far, including one death.
The Zhejiang province where the city is situated has confirmed 829 cases – the highest number outside the central region of Hubei, which includes Wuhan.
The latest restrictions follow similar measures announced Sunday in Wenzhou, which has a population of nine million people.
The city has restricted the movement of residents, and closed roads.
The disease is believed to have emerged in a market in Wuhan that sold wild animals, spreading rapidly as people travelled for the Lunar New Year holiday in late January.
Nationwide, more than 20,000 people have been infected by the new virus, with 425 now known to have died.
Most of the deaths have been in Wuhan and the rest of surrounding Hubei province, which has largely been under lockdown for almost two weeks.
Under the latest restrictions, landlords in Taizhou have been forbidden from renting property to people from ‘severely affected areas such as Hubei’ if they have travelled to their hometowns recently.
The virus has so far spread to more than 20 countries, prompting the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency.
Taiwan today became the latest foreign government to restrict entry to visitors from China while many airlines have also suspended flights.
In addition, Hong Kong today announced that a 39-year-old coronavirus patient had died in hospital – only the second fatality outside mainland China.
The US, Australia, New Zealand and Israel have banned foreign nationals from visiting if they have been in China recently, and they have also warned their own citizens against travelling there.
Russia has halted most of its air and rail traffic with China, shut down its land border with China and Mongolia and temporarily stopped issuing work visas to Chinese citizens.
China’s Communist leadership made a rare admission of fallibility on Monday as it acknowledged ‘shortcomings and difficulties exposed in the response to the epidemic’.
he elite Politburo Standing Committee called for improvements to the ‘national emergency management system’ at the meeting, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
‘It is necessary to strengthen market supervision, resolutely ban and severely crack down on illegal wildlife markets and trade,’ the Politburo said.
The government also said it ‘urgently’ needed medical equipment such as surgical masks, protective suits and safety goggles as it battles to control the outbreak.
A 1,000-bed field hospital in Wuhan built from scratch within two weeks to relieve overburdened medical facilities started receiving patients on Tuesday.
A second makeshift hospital is due to open later this week.