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Drones Are Being Used To Scold People Not Wearing Masks During Coronavirus Crisis

People in China are using drones with speakers to scold those who are outside without protective face masks amidst the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

In rural towns and villages, drones have been patrolling the streets and calling people out for acting carelessly, as cases of the coronavirus mount in China.

While CNN claied the Chinese government is behind the use of drones, Beijing News reported some of the viral videos were created by influencers.

Drone scolds an elderly woman who is outside in Inner Mongolia during the outbreak of coronavirus. Image: Global Times

"Aunty, this is the drone speaking to you... you'd better go back home and don't forget to wash your hands," a woman in Mongolia is told in a video posted by Chinese state media, Global Times.

"The man with a pink coat on your motorbike... please put on your mask," the drone warns another person.

In another video, a person operating a drone tells a boy "The coronavirus is very serious. Run!"

State media has applauded the use of drones, claiming they've helped to entertain and educate local people, who've been forced to stay indoors during the festive season.

"The innovative usage of drones has cheered up Chinese netizens who have not been able to indulge in outdoor entertainment events this [Lunar New Year Holiday] because of the coronavirus," Global Times said.

While the videos appear to be lighthearted, China is taking serious measures to contain the virus.

The government has ordered face masks to be mandatory in two Chinese provinces and three cities to prevent the spread of the highly-infectious disease.

Those living in Guangdong, Jiangxi, Nanjing, Ma'anshan and Xinyang have been ordered to wear face masks, according to local authorities.

Restrictions have also been placed on travel in many cities.

Hubei, the centre of the epidemic, is under a virtual quarantine with roads sealed off and public transport shut down.

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Coronavirus Death Toll Rises To 259 As USA, Australia Announce China Travel Crackdown

The number of deaths from a coronavirus epidemic in China has risen by 46 to 259, the country's health authority says, as the United States and other nations announced new border curbs on foreigners who have been in China.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australia will deny entry to all foreign nationals travelling from mainland China from Saturday, as the nation faces 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

At least 259 people have been killed by coronavirus in China and 11,791 are infected, China's National Health Commission confirmed on Friday.

Researchers in Hong Kong suspect cases of coronavirus could be as high as 75,000 -- much higher than what's been reported by China -- according to CNN.

With AAP

Contact Eden at egillespie@networkten.com.au