Chinese officials closed the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Shanghai Disney, and other tourist venues to contain the novel coronavirus. The move comes at the approach of the Chinese Lunar New Year — one of the nation’s biggest holidays.
Authorities in China closed part of the Great Wall and suspended traffic in at least 10 cities at the beginning of the Lunar New Year holiday on Friday. The government took the strong actions in an attempt to contain the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus that infected more than 800 people and killed 26, according to Reuters.
In addition to the Great Wall closure, officials also shutdown Beijing’s Lama Temple, Shanghai Disney, and its most popular tourist attraction, the Forbidden City.
Entire cities, including Wuhan (the viral epicenter), have been put on lockdown to prevent movement of potentially infected people.
The Disney closure does not begin until Saturday, Reuters reported. Disney officials stated the closure would remain in effect until conditions warranted a re-opening.
The Chinese entertainment industry also postponed the opening of seven new films set to open during the seven-day Lunar New Year’s holiday.
All of this comes as the coronavirus continues to spread. Officials report hospitals in Wuhan are having to turn away potentially infected patients due to a lack of bed space and supplies, Breitbart News reported on Friday.
Hospitals are taking to social media and pleading for donations of supplies.
“There’s a shortage of medical supplies, help!!!” Wuhan Children’s Hospital posted Thursday on Weibo service, a Chinese version of Twitter.
Adding to the critical supply shortage, Chinese businesses are having difficulty in getting employees to come to work.
One business owner whose company makes protective masks is having difficulty despite offers of quadrupled pay.
“We already quadrupled the salary to get our workers back to work five days in advance during the spring festival. But workers still do not want to come back,” Cao Jun, general manager of Lanhine Corp., which owns a face-mask factory in eastern China’s Zhejiang province told the WSJ. So far, he has only enticed between 10 and 20 percent of his workforce to come in.
Construction workers are being paid triple their normal wages to quickly build a makeshift quarantine hospital that will house approximately 1,000 patients, the SCMP reported. With other hospitals already facing shortages of supplies and beds, it is not clear how this new hospital will be supplied.