Coronavirus outbreak: Chinese citizens share videos on social media showing panic, chaos and desperation
At least 36 million people in China have been affected by lockdowns imposed across 13 cities during the country’s most important holiday time -- the Lunar New Year.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak -- which began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, claimed 41 lives and infected over 1,287 others -- Chinese citizens are taking to social media to express their panic, frustration and chaos. This is in contrast to the country’s state-media which has praised the official response to the outbreak.
Chinese citizens are overcoming a lack of reporting in the official media by sharing their own videos and information — sometimes inaccurately.
Some are even evading censors, who commonly suppress criticism of the government, to register complaints about how officials have handled the crisis. People have slammed officials for failing to contain the initial outbreak in Wuhan, the capital of the central province of Hubei; for limiting residents to overcrowded facilities in the region; and for not visiting the affected areas.
Residents are using social networks and messaging platforms to offer on-the-ground accounts of the crisis. Some alarming videos have made their way from China’s closed-off Internet onto networks like Twitter.
Take a look:
video from a hospital in #Wuhan showing a patient psychologically melting down.— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) January 24, 2020
the desperate patient lay on the floor with a lot money scattering around.
the whole situation of #WuhanPneumonia outbreak is chaotic and its getting worse after quarantine
A video from a hospital in Wuhan …— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) January 23, 2020
i am so speechless，just look at the crowd... it only takes one real patient of #WuhanCoronavirus to doom everyone else on the site!#Wuhan #WuhanPneumonia #WuhanOutbreak pic.twitter.com/eivOno6Soh
Another video showing medics from #wuhan completely burn out & melt down.— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) January 24, 2020
really sad and angry to see this happening
they need much more support than now.
where the fuck is the government support after #wuhanquarantine ?!#coronoavirus #WuhanPneumonia
In #Wuhan people are collapsing on streets due to the deadly #WuhanPneumonia . so helpless. #WuhanCoronavirus @badiucao @CGTNOfficial China's National Microbiology Data Center releases first electron microscopic images of the novel https://t.co/FQpe8dzjy5 pic.twitter.com/Rk562h5WvU— Aly-Khan Satchu (@alykhansatchu) January 24, 2020
Today evening, a video circulated on the @Telegram, her name "Jingui" and work for hospital at #Wuhan. It clearly explained that more than 90,000 ppl had died in #Hubei throughout the #China! The person-to-person base is 1 > 14!#WuhanCoronavirus #WuhanPneumonia pic.twitter.com/rpuNJdI4I1— ANIILAI (@aniilai) January 24, 2020
Many events have been cancelled and a new hospital is being built in Wuhan.
Chinese media outlets said the new 1,000-bed hospital could be ready within six days. A total of 35 diggers and 10 bulldozers are currently working on the site.
Pharmacies in Wuhan have begun to run out of supplies and hospitals have been filled with nervous members of the public.
Users have shared experiences of waiting in lines at hospitals for hours, shuttling sick loved ones from hospital to hospital, only to be sent home without being tested for the coronavirus.
Corpses of coronavirus victims are being left unattended in a corridor of a hospital flooded with patients in Wuhan as the Chinese city is ravaged by the deadly infection, it has been revealed.
What is the situation worldwide?
The virus has spread to several cities including Beijing and Shanghai, as well to Europe, with three cases confirmed in France, reported the BBC. Countries such as the US, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal and Vietnam have also reported cases.
Other nations are investigating suspected cases including the UK and Canada.
How China is tacking the crisis?
Travel restrictions vary from city to city. Wuhan is effectively on lockdown: all bus, metro and ferry services have been suspended, and all outbound planes and trains cancelled.
As millions go home for the holidays, travel restrictions have been expanded to 13 cities - home to more than 36 million people - in Hubei province, the centre of the outbreak.
City officials in the capital, Beijing, and Shanghai have asked residents who return from affected areas to stay at home for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus, local media report.
Authorities have also shut major tourist sites including the Forbidden City in Beijing and a section of the Great Wall, and cancelled major public events in other parts of the country.
Shanghai's Disney Resort is temporarily closing, as are McDonald's restaurants in five cities.
The World Health Organization has not classed the virus as an "international emergency", partly because of the low number of overseas cases.