Quarantined Conditions in Wuhan Likened to 'Wartime' Scenario As Death Toll In China Surpasses 500
As the death toll from coronavirus has reached over 560 in China, the city of Wuhan is on lock down and has become a chilling place, as the origin location of the outbreak combats the virus.
With transportation links shut down, a senior Chinese official ordered authorities in Wuhan to gather all those infected with the virus and place them in isolation or quarantine.
“During these wartime conditions, there must be no deserters, or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever,” Sun Chunlan, a vice premier leading the central government’s response to the outbreak, told city investigators, according to the New York Times. She advised city investigators to go to each home to check the temperatures of every resident and interview infected patients’ close contacts.
The city itself has turned into an eerie scene according to on-the-ground reports. Prerecorded messages from the government play over loudspeakers, instructing residents to wear facemasks when they step outside. Others are lining up outside of pharmacies for items like face masks and hand sanitizer that have long since been sold out. Additionally, due to the lockdown, the streets are empty.
Earlier this week, a newborn in Wuhan became the youngest person to contract the virus, diagnosed just 30 hours after he was born, according to The BBC. The mother tested positive for coronavirus before he was born, but it’s unclear whether the virus was passed in the womb or if he contracted it after birth. The baby is in stable condition and under observation, state media outlet Xinhua reported.
However despite daunting statistics and precautions, there have actually been more people who have contracted the coronavirus and recovered than died from it. Health officials reported a total of 1,341 recoveries from the virus, according to the South China Morning Post.
In total, there are 28,000 cases around the world, leading surrounding countries to increase their public safety measures.
On Thursday, Taiwan announced that it would no longer process online or landing visas for citizens of Hong Kong or Macau, according to the South China Morning Post. The suspension will continue indefinitely. Those who have an urgent need to travel to Taiwan must appear at a consulate in their city and prove that they have not been to mainland China within the past 14 days. Those who have visited and were already granted visas are instructed to self-impose a quarantine, punishable by an almost $5,000 fine. Taiwan has also banned all cruise ships from docking at its ports.