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The government of Wuhan, the epicentre of the Chinese coronavirus outbreak, has rescinded an earlier statement announcing the relaxation of the city-wide lockdown.

On Monday afternoon, a notice on the provincial government website announced that non-residents in quarantined Wuhan would be permitted to leave for the first time since the city was closed off in January.

But that notice was later deleted, with another posted by Wuhan’s municipal government.

The notice said the earlier announcement was made by traffic controllers without permission from central leaders or the disease control command centre.

Those responsible for the earlier announcement are already facing “severe criticism and punishment”, the statement from the Wuhan government read.

(dpa/NAN)

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