As of Tuesday, the outbreak of pneumonia-like coronavirus in Wuhan has already killed 6 people and infected more than 1500 in China.
Zeng Guang, the main CDC epidemiologist in China, urged people in Wuhan to avoid leaving the city affected by the coronavirus and said those who intend to go there to China should avoid it if they can, according to the Washington Post.
"I hope that people avoid going to Wuhan if possible and that the citizens don't move from there", he said.
But the government denies a quarantine
Zeng, who is leading the government's efforts to respond to the outbreak of the health emergency in China, has made it clear that his coronavirus recommendation is not a government-enforced quarantine.
"This is not a call from the officials, but a suggestion from us in the team of experts", he precised.
Medical authorities in China confirmed Monday that coronavirus can spread from person to person.
Asian and U.S. authorities have taken precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus that hit the city of Seattle yesterday with the first recorded case.
Coronavirus in China, the precautions
Some airport authorities scan passengers from China and doctors with full-body protection devices monitor passengers leaving Wuhan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called an emergency meeting for today. It will discuss whether or not the virus constitutes a global health emergency and whether further steps are needed to prevent it from becoming a global epidemic.
Fears of the spread of the virus intensified further in the run-up to the lunar new year this weekend. Many people travel nationally and internationally and it is not the right time.
It is the second serious outbreak of infection that erupted in China in a few months. Between November and December they even surfaced cases of bubonic plague.