Media caption Fears over. coronavirus in China trigger face mask shortage
China is battling to contain a deadly coronavirus. In its Hubei province, as hundreds of millions of Chinese prepare to travel over the Lunar New Year.
Beijing and Hong Kong have cancelled some major festivities to prevent large crowds gathering together .
Wuhan and other cities in Hubei have seen far more draconian measures, with curbs on public transport.
All but one of the 24 deaths have been in Hubei, but there are more than 600 cases, including several abroad.
It was the low number of confirmed cases overseas – currently 20 – that was one of the reasons the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declined to designate the virus an “international emergency”.
“It may yet become one,” said the WHO’s boss.
What are the fears for Lunar New Year?
It is one of the world’s largest annual migrations of people.
The authorities have cancelled all large-scale celebrations in Beijing. Temple fairs are banned, film releases postponed and the Forbidden City will be closed to the public.
Hong Kong cancelled an international carnival and an annual football tournament. Acting chief executive Matthew Cheung said it was “not appropriate to have crowds of people gathering together.”