In the 14th century, a bubonic plague that we know as the Black Death spread like wildfire across the so-called civilised world. The global pandemic, which killed between 75-million and 200-million people, was allegedly spread by fleas living on rats.It’s the Year of the Rat in the Chinese calendar and what tragic irony, then, to kick off the lunar new year with another plague whose ground zero is Wuhan in China.Wuhan (population 11-million), a tech and transport hub and capital of Hubei province, is under lockdown following an outbreak of the flu-like coronavirus that by Tuesday had infected 4,581 people worldwide and killed 106 of them.China has imposed drastic travel restrictions in a belated attempt to contain the outbreak, which erupted just as people were about to begin celebrating the new year.Public transport to and from Wuhan has been stopped and residents have been ordered to stay inside. Ride-hailing services as far away as Beijing have been heavily curtailed.The first c...

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