Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday ordered the military to intervene to control and prevent the outbreak of novel coronavirus that has killed 132 people and infected more than a thousand others in the East Asian country.
Xi, who heads the People's Liberation Army, told the military to keep their mission firmly in mind and shoulder responsibility to make a contribution to winning the battle against the novel coronavirus, which he has described as a "demon," state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The armed forces should rapidly initiate the joint prevention and control mechsm and sent elite medical teams to combat the epidemic at the frontline, the President has ordered.
Noting that the epidemic prevention and control remains a grim and complex situation, Jinping further asked the armed forces to treat patients in Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan with all efforts and scientific research.
Huoshenshan Hospital, which is under construction, is a makeshift hospital dedicated to treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus.
China has imposed quarantine and travel restrictions, affecting the movement of 56 million people in more than a dozen cities, amid fears that the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year.
The Wuhan novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been identified before. The exact source of infection of 2019 nCoV is not known yet.
Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
The symptoms reported in patients with nCoV include acute onset of fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. The infection results in severe complications and even death.
Some countries including India, Canada and the United States, have also initiated the process to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly virus outbreak.
( With inputs from ANI )