The city of Wuhan, located in central China, was quarantined by the Chinese Government on January 23, 2020 in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It is believed that the new virus originated in December 2019 in a Wuhan market. Currently, more than 11 million people are shocked and panicked, given the lack of appropriate medical response and credible information.
According to the latest updates published by the Chinese authorities, there are 2034 confirmed cases of infected patients and 56 deaths in mainland China, for the period between December 8, 2019 and January 26, 2020.
The majority of infected patients live in Wuhan or recently visited the city. However, the official figure may not reflect the whole reality, since certain carriers of the virus do not have serious symptoms and medical centers do not have the capacity to treat infected or possibly infected patients.
Several estimates have been made of the actual number of people infected with an epidemic transmission model. An international medical team estimated that the number of inhabitants infected in Wuhan could be greater than 11 341 until January 21, although it could reach 191 529 by February 4, 2020.
Currently, the dangerous coronavirus has spread throughout China, except for Tibet, as a large number of workers and students emigrated in Wuhan have returned to their home province since early January to meet with the family in celebration of the New Year. Lunar, January 25.
To contain the spread of the epidemic, the central government decided to quarantine the city on January 23; the airport, train stations and public transport were closed. The next day, another 11 cities in Hubei province were added to the quarantine area.
When the Government declares that “there are no new infections between January 5 and 15”
The citizens of Wuhan are understandably shocked since in January, authorities told them that the virus could be controlled because there was no evidence of transmission from human to human.
Journalist Chu Chaoxin, who lives in Wuhan, rebuilt the chronology since December 31, 2019, when the epidemic warning system was activated, and discovered that between January 5 and 15 the Wuhan health authorities had not announced No new infection confirmed. The number of confirmed cases remained at 59. The period coincided with the annual government meeting known as Lianghui, or “Two sessions”, of the city of Wuhan and Hubei Province:
武汉 市 的 两会 期间 无 新增 病例 ， 死 的 一例 公布 时间 恰好 是。 湖北省 的 两会 期间 ， 也 无 新增 病例 ， 无 死亡 病例 ， 只有 治愈 出院 的。 省 里 的 两会 闭幕 当日 ，新增 17 例 ， 但 消息 是 18 日 公布 的。
There were no new confirmed cases during the “Two sessions” of Wuhan. The first death was announced after the closure of the “Two sessions” of Wuhan. No new cases confirmed, no deaths during the “Two sessions” of Hubei. Only cases released from hospitals were reported. When the provincial “Two sessions” ended on January 18, health authorities announced that there were 17 new confirmed cases.
Even more worrying is the fact that the officials did not cancel the activities of the end of the year celebration. On January 18, a residential community in Wuhan organized an end-of-the-year meal for 40,000 families (about 130,000 people). On January 21, Hubei's New Year's Eve celebration at Wuhan Hongshan Hall was also attended by senior officials from the province.
Feeling of abandonment
As of January 23, there were 886 confirmed cases and 26 deaths throughout China, when Beijing suddenly announced Wuhan's closure. The inhabitants of the city panicked as they ran for food, necessities, medicines and masks, and some tried to escape from quarantine. Many have criticized the sudden decision, like this citizen who left Wuhan before closing and wrote:
我 不 知道 政府 是 昏庸 无能 还是 准备 放弃 这个 省 ， 我 宁愿 是 前者。
因 政府 失职 造成 的 封 城 及 交通 封锁 ， 最 起码 政府 得 提供 消毒 口罩 ， 社区 消毒 ， 大 折扣 的 食物 补给 ， 及 医护人员 上 下班 免费 班车 ， 病患 免费 就医 通道 …… 且 应该… 封 城 前 就布 属 好。 这些 是 的 政府 承认 的 的 然而 ， 什么 都 没有 ， 只有 冰冷 的 公文…
I do not know if the Government is simply unable to handle the situation or if it has prepared to evacuate the entire province. I await an explanation. The Government should be responsible during the closure and should, at least, distribute free masks, secure food supplies, clean up residential areas, ensure the transport of health workers and ensure that patients are hospitalized. They should have prepared for all this before the announcement. These are basic measures of a responsible Government. But there was nothing, just an official announcement.
As a result, all hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients with symptoms that could indicate cases of coronavirus. The vast majority were asked to quarantine their homes, as there are not enough health workers or supplies to care for more patients.
Messages have been circulating on social networks about people seeking help to enter a Wuhan hospital, but many hospitals lack the necessary protective equipment to prevent health workers from becoming infected. The health workers themselves are desperate: a video that shows a health worker who had a nervous breakdown in a Wuhan hospital went viral online in the last days of January:
这段 视频 我 想 了 好久 ， 我 对 武汉 增加 的 心疼 和 敬畏 ， 而 不是 被 粉红 看到 了 去 指责 她们。
微 信 有 很多 信息 ， 我 不想 都 放 出来 ， 只要 我们 记住 ， 一个 政府 的 无能 会 导致 无数 的 问题 ， 如果 我们 漠视 ， 有 一天 一定 一定 会 到 我们 自己 头上。
我 诚心 的 向上 祈祷 ， 病毒 早日 消亡。 pic.twitter.com/EVMom8kTjT
– loh (@ 660loh) January 24, 2020
I broadcast this video so that people understand how health workers felt in Wuhan and show more respect for their work. There are many messages circulating on WeChat that I refuse to divulge. But I want to stress that if we ignore all the problems caused by an incapable government, one day we will all be victims.
Independent journalist Jennifer Zeng published an account of an eyewitness from Wuhan:
前 南方週末 記者 ： 即便 是 我 参加 过 17 年前 的 SARS 报道 ， 16 年前 还 一路 从 四川 、 广西 最后 到 越南 河内 报道 禽流 感 ， 依然 被 这次 武汉 的 情况 吓到。 24 日 ， 武汉 多 所医院 医护人员 和 协助 人员 严重 不足 ， 连 病 死者 都没 人 运。
疫情 规模 ， 武汉 方面 医疗 物资 匮乏 的 程度 ， 中国 政府 指挥 调度 的 混乱 程度 ， 都 远远 超过 了 我 的 想象。
– 曾 錚 Jennifer Zeng (@jenniferatntd) January 25, 2020
A Southern Weekend journalist: Although 17 years ago I reported on the SARS epidemic and studied the spread of bird flu from Sichuan to Guangxi and Hanoi in Vietnam 16 years ago, I am terrified of the situation in Wuhan. On January 24, many Wuhan hospitals faced a severe shortage of medical workers and providers. Nobody took care of the bodies. The scale of the epidemic, the shortage of medical supplies and the chaotic response, all these are things that I would never have imagined.
One of the main reasons for the panic is the fact that some netizens, whether paid by the government or speaking on their own, monitor social media platforms and accuse cyber netizens who ask for help or express their frustrations of spreading rumors That create problems. In addition, some Internet users began to worry about whether the authorities decided to cut the internet in Wuhan as part of the blockade, like this user:
如果 武汉 断 网 了
要 怎么 样 可以 联系 到 外面
求 方法 ！！！！
求 求 求 求
– 小 雀斑 女友 冰糖 花卷 (@bingtanghuajuan) January 25, 2020
If they cut Internet access in Wuhan, how can we communicate with the rest of the world? Please suggest me something. I beg you!
On January 25, the first day of the Lunar New Year, Chinese President Xi Jinping finally broke his silence regarding the spread of the new coronavirus, admitted that the spread is accelerating and that the country is in a serious situation.
On the same day, Beijing displaced 450 military medical personnel to Wuhan to help with health care. Authorities also banned private cars from traveling through the city as of January 26 and began construction of two new hospitals in Wuhan within ten days to accommodate another 2300 patients.
However, as the virus has spread throughout the country, less developed and second-tier cities, particularly those in the province of Hubei, may face similar outbreaks, as this cybernaut warns:
请 大家 也 多多 关注 武汉 湖北 的 也 不容 的 当 全世界 的 的 的 ， 于 的 的 时候 ， 不要 让 ， 地方 自生自灭！
请 救救 湖北 的 其他 城市 ， 我们 不想 变成 切尔诺 北 利 …… https: //t.co/BgMDAEQ2AV
– Zoey.X (@xyxxiexie) January 25, 2020
Please pay attention to the cities on the outskirts of Wuhan. The situation in other regions of Hubei is not optimistic. Now the whole world looks at Wuhan, don't forget that there are other cities, please save them …