WUHAN, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's Hubei Province, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, announced Sunday a slew of wide-ranging and more stringent measures to control the epidemic.
The measures include enforcing province-wide traffic restrictions on all non-emergency vehicles and closing all non-essential public venues, according to a circular issued by the provincial government.
The measures came as the province is at a "critical stage" to control the epidemic and the situation remains "grave," said the circular.
According to the circular, the health screening campaign should be strengthened and no one should be missed. Once any resident shows symptoms such as fever or coughing, the situation should be immediately reported to the local community or village.
"Four categories of people," namely patients confirmed or suspected to be infected with the virus, their close contacts and patients with fever, should be timely treated or placed in quarantine instead of self-isolation at home.
Also, companies should not resume production unless allowed by local epidemic prevention authorities. And those that have resumed work including public institutions, industrial parks and companies should follow strict virus prevention measures.
By the end of Saturday, the hard-hit province had reported a total of 56,249 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. Among the 39,447 hospitalized patients, 8,439 were still in severe condition and another 1,957 in critical condition.