The health authorities in China have put almost 11 million people into lockdown in the city of Shijiazhuang, Hebei province to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus outbreak.

Iran PressAsia: It took just 39 new coronavirus cases for health officials to seal off the capital of the industrial province on Wednesday and to order a mass testing drive.

Travel restrictions were put in place in the remainder of the region, which encircles China's capital Beijing and is home to some 76 million people.

By Saturday, Mayor Ma Yujun told a news conference that it had taken just three days to complete the first round of mass testing in Shijiazhuang, with 354 people found positive for the virus. The second round of testing is due to begin soon, he added.

"The risk of having more infections is still there," officials said.

This hard-and-fast approach is being echoed elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region to fend off coronavirus flare-ups — including in Japan, Thailand, and Australia — making measures to curb the virus spread in Europe and the United States appear almost sluggish.

Authorities put Hebei — known for textile, steel, and pharmaceutical industries — into a "wartime mode" on Tuesday. This meant that government-coordinated action could begin, investigation teams to trace contacts could be set up and medical supplies distributed.