Chinese authorities have urged people to stop travelling in and out of Wuhan, the city at the centre of a new virus outbreak that has killed nine.

Those living in the city of 8.9 million people have also been told to avoid crowds and minimise public gatherings.

The new virus has spread from Wuhan to several Chinese provinces, as well as the US, Thailand and South Korea.

There are 440 confirmed cases, with the origin a seafood market that "conducted illegal transactions of wild animals".

"Basically, do not go to Wuhan. And those in Wuhan please do not leave the city," said National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin in one of the first public briefings since the beginning of the outbreak.

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