Communist Party authorities in Beijing are moving to quarantine essentially the entire province of Hubei after the deadly coronavirus that has swept across the globe over the past week originated in Wuhan, its capital city, and China's seventh-largest metropolis - larger than any American city, and roughly five times the size of London.
But before the barricades went up, the New York Times apparently managed to sneak a few photographers into Wuhan. The result: one of the best photographic records to appear in the Western press.
A series of photos taken in Wuhan and elsewhere around China illustrate the Communist Party's heavy-handed effort to suppress the spread of the virus, even as global health experts warn that the "horse is already out of the barn."
Photos show victims being transported between hospitals by health-care workers wearing full-body protection.
Chinese authorities have come down hard on the virus, though some claim that efforts like public spraying won't do much to stop the virus.
But the sight of health-care workers out in the public spraying is probably helping to shore up public confidence.
On the streets and in the supermarket, people in Wuhan won't go anywhere without face masks.
Police surround the entrance to a public transit station in Wuhan. Rail travel has been temporarily suspended as part of the effort to contain the virus.
On a train from Shanghai to Wuhan carries precious few passengers brave enough to make the journey. With the New Year holiday approaching, the train is usually packed this time of year.
Across China, the sight of officials carrying infrared thermometers has become commonplace.
The number of confirmed cases of Wuhan coronavirus is rapidly approaching 650 as new cases have been confirmed in Singapore and Saudi Arabia, while three suspected cases have been identified in Scotland.