On 23 January 2020, a quarantine on travel in and out of Wuhan was imposed in an effort to stop the spread of the virus out of Wuhan. Flights, trains, public buses, the metro system, and long-distance coaches were suspended indefinitely. Large-scale gatherings and group tours were also suspended.
A specialty hospital named Huoshenshan Hospital has been constructed as a countermeasure against the outbreak and to better quarantine the patients. Wuhan City government had demanded that a state-owned enterprise construct such a hospital "at the fastest speed" comparable to that of the SARS outbreak in 2003. On 24 January, Wuhan authorities specified its planning, saying they planned to have Huoshenshan Hospital built within six days of the announcement and it will be ready to use on 3 February. Upon opening, the specialty hospital has 1,000 beds and takes up 30,000 square meters. The hospital is modeled after the Xiaotangshan Hospital, which was fabricated for the SARS outbreak of 2003, itself built in only seven days. State media reported that there were 7,000 workers and nearly 300 units of construction machinery on the site at peak.
Additional provinces and cities outside of Hubei imposed travel restrictions. Beijing suspended all Intercity bus services on 25 January, with several others following suit. Shanghai, Tianjin, Shandong, Xi'an, and Sanya all announced suspension of intercity or inter-province bus services on 26 January.
On 1 February Huanggang, Hubei implemented a measure whereby only one person from each household is permitted to go outside for provisions once every two days, except for medical reasons or to work at shops or pharmacies. Many cities, districts, and counties across mainland China implemented similar measures in the days following, including Wenzhou, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Harbin, and the whole of Jiangxi Province.
On 4 February 2020, two more cities in Zhejiang province restricted the movement of residents. The city of Taizhou, three Hangzhou districts, and some in Ningbo began to only allow one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities, city officials said. More than 12 million people are affected by the new restrictions.
On 8 February 2020, it was announced that a Japanese and an American died due to the virus in Wuhan. They are the first foreigners killed by the virus. By that day the WHO announced the confirmed cases is now 34 886 cases and the number of deaths is 724.
On 12 February, the Hubei government adopted a broader definition of confirmed cases, which now includes clinically diagnosed patients diagnosed by their symptoms and CT scans but without a nucleic acid test, which can take days to process and delay treatment. "Using CT scans that reveal lung infection would help patients receive treatment as soon as possible and improve their chances of recovery," the provincial health commission said. This new methodology accounts for the sharp increase in Hubei's daily confirmed cases: 13,332 of the 14,840 newly confirmed cases in the province on 12 February were diagnosed clinically under the new definition.
As of March 18, Wuhan, along with the rest of China has not had any new cases, raising questions of the potential consequences when social distancing requirements start to be lifted. Estimates are that less than 1% in China have had the disease, leaving more than 99% vulnerable to future waves of infection. With SARS in 2003, there was no transmission to others during incubation and the early symptoms. With COVID-19, there is evidence of early transmission. Ben Cowling, professor of epidemiology at Hong Kong University, said, “This coronavirus is more comparable to influenza.” It is not known how and if Covid-19 may resurface, though some fear it could follow a similar path to the 1918-1919 flu pandemic in which the second and third waves were more deadly than the first.
On 3 April, the Chinese government declared 4 April, the Qingming Festival of 2020, a national day of mourning for those who lost their lives in the coronavirus pandemic. At 10 a.m., people were asked to observe three minutes of silence while sirens and vehicle horns blasted out. Chinese flags were flown at half-mast across the country and at embassies overseas. All public entertainment was halted for the day.