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Friday, January 24, 2020

Coronavirus Leaves Wuhan A ‘Zombieland’ With Dead Lying In Deserted Streets


Shocking images show Chinese residents lying lifeless on the ground as Wuhan struggles to cope with the deadly coronavirus.

The city, which is the epicentre of the outbreak which is spreading across the planet, has been dubbed “zombieland” by desperate locals.

Harrowing pictures on social media show people collapsed on the street and in hospital waiting rooms amid the epidemic which has claimed the lives of at least 26 people.

In one disturbing clip, a man can be seen lying unresponsive on the ground while medics wearing hazmat suits and gas masks attempt to help him.

According to reports, the victim – who was wearing a protective mask - was waiting in line for paperwork when he lost consciousness and collapsed.

Another horrifying picture shows a man reportedly dead on the ground with blood pouring from his head.

One local news site in Wuhan reports that the victim in the picture died from coronavrius.

Posting the image on social media, their caption read: "It is stated that a person infected with coronavirus died in blood."



Some of the other images being shared widely on social media are believed to be from Wuhan although at this stage remain unverified.

Residents in the "ground zero" city, where the virus originated, have been told to avoid crowds and not to attend public gatherings leaving the streets looking like a ghost town - despite its 11 million population.

Images online, posted by shoppers, show supermarket shelves lying empty after panic buying by worried locals.

All transport links in Wuhan were locked down this morning in a desperate bid to stop the spread of the bug.



This comes as it emerged today that six people in the UK are being treated for suspected coronavirus.

Five patients are being treated in Scotland as well as one more in Belfast, Northern Ireland, it has been reported.

Latest figures suggest the number of cases in China has now risen to 616 with other victims hospitalised in Japan, Thailand, South Korea and the US.

And with the virus spreading all over the world questions are being asked about how local authorities in Wuhan dealt with the outbreak in recent weeks.

The central Chinese city, which has a population of 11 million, is the epicentre of the crisis with the virus believed to have originated from snakes at a live animal market in December.

Last week, it emerged that the bug can be passed from human to human – yet authorities in Wuhan only locked down its transport links TODAY.

And rumours of a cover-up have gained traction online.



According to the Washington Post, Wuhan Railway deleted a social media post from January 15 that said 300,000 people left the city.

As distrust with the government mounts, there are suspicions that such official posts have been deleted to shield the public from the true extent of the outbreak.

China is celebrating Lunar New Year this Saturday – a holiday which has been called the “world’s largest migration” with billions of trips normally expected.

There are concerns that the virus could spread even more rapidly as a result.

Wuhan suddenly announced its travel ban at 2.30am local time this morning while most of its residents were asleep.

This has been interpreted by some as a sign of panic by the city’s health authorities.



There are also damning stories from Wuhan of medics in recent weeks failing to test patients who were clearly showing signs of the illness.

Kyle Hui told the New York Times that despite his stepmother having the correct symptoms, including a cough and a fever, doctors wearing hazmat suits refused to test her for the virus.

He said she died on January 15 and that her death certificate says "severe pneumonia" rather than coronavirus.

And while she has not been recorded as one of the official victims of the bug, Mr Hui claims doctors told him to cremate his stepmother's body because they suspected she had the disease.


Officials in Wuhan have told locals to stay indoors and have ordered them to wear face masks when outside.

However, the People’s Daily – the government’s propaganda outlet – posted on social media that the province was running low on masks and other protective clothing.

That online post was also eventually deleted.

Wuhan residents have also posted pictures online showing empty supermarket shelves - in another sign the city was unprepared for the panic buying such an outbreak would inevitably cause.



Guan Yi, a Hong Kong–based infectious disease expert, believes a “bigger” outbreak is certain while accusing officials in mainland China of a “dereliction of duty.”

The expert, who helped identify another coronavirus named SARS in 2003, says “we have passed through the ‘golden period’ for prevention and control.”

He told Caixin: “What’s more, we’ve got the holiday traffic rush and a dereliction of duty from certain officials.”


Dr Yi said the current outbreak could be 10 times worse than the SARS crisis.

He said: "I have experienced so much and never felt scared. Most (viruses) are controllable, but this time I am scared."

The expert claims he had to "escape" Wuhan yesterday after witnessing the "jaw-dropping" lack of preventative measures enforced by local officials.



Now several major cities, including the capital Beijing, have followed Wuhan in banning public gathering during the New Year celebrations.

This is another sign that China is expanding its efforts to contain the virus which started last month – but is it too little too late?

Many residents in Wuhan think so.

Social media users in the city have blasted authorities on Weibo for waiting weeks to put the metropolis on lockdown.

Xiao, 26, a primary school teacher in Wuhan, told The Guardian: "When I saw the news when I woke up, I felt like I was going to go crazy. This is a little too late now. The government’s measures are not enough."

Others criticised local authorities on the social media platform Weibo as #PrayforWuhan was trending.



One said: "It’s been a month since the first case was discovered and only now do they think of closing the city? This Wuhan emergency response is a little slow, right???"

Another added: "The government needs to address this. If things become too expensive, people will definitely panic and when people feel unsafe, terrible things happen. Right now people are fighting over supplies, soon they may just be fighting.”

Locals have shared images of their stockpiles of instant noodles and snacks on the social media platform Weibo.

One wrote: "No more going out ... so I won’t get sick. Hope Wuhan can get some support soon."

It is unusual of citizens to express such outrage at the Chinese government on the country's microblogging site.

Supermarket shelves are empty as residents have started stockpiling goods to keep themselves isolated at home to avoid contracting the virus.

Images shared online show food prices have spiked in Wuhan.

Cake Liu left Wuhan last week after visiting her boyfriend there and said everything was normal then, things have changed rapidly.

She said: "(My boyfriend) didn't sleep much yesterday. He disinfected his house and stocked up on instant noodles. He's not really going out. If he does he wears a mask."

Police, SWAT teams and paramilitary troops have been out on the streets patrolling the railway stations as authorities have banned travelling on subways and ferries.


The airport and train stations have been shut down to outgoing passengers travelling after 10am local time.

Petrol stations have been rammed with motorists trying to get as much fuel as possible amid rumours reserves had run out.

Pharmacies have sold out of face masks, residents said.

An Irish teacher in Wuhan has describe the city as a "ghost town" as he's been hold up in his flat.

Ben Kavanagh told RTE Radio’s Morning Ireland: “You are allowed out, but there are so many rumours and people are worried, it’s better not to.

“It’s almost like a ghost town.

I have enough water for a few more days, but I will probably have to head out to the shops for food.

“I have no idea what to expect."

Seven million people in Huanggang, which is 45 miles away, have been told not to leave after there were confirmed cases.

Public transport stopped running at midnight local time.

Dr W. Ian Lipkin, a US epidemiologist at Columbia University who advised China and the World Health Organisation during the SARS epidemic, said infected victims outside Wuhan would continue to spread the disease.

He said: “The horse is already out of the barn."

[ By The Sun ]

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