One Month after Being Locked Down, Wuhan Still Hangs by a Thread
(Minghui.org) One month after the city of Wuhan was put on lockdown, the coronavirus infection cases and death tolls are still on the rise every day.
In Wuhan, a city home to 11 million people, the streets are still empty and the shops remain closed. All social activities have come to a halt. No one anticipates a quick end to the lockdown.
People are afraid of talking to each other, fearing becoming infected.
According to an internal document by the Hubei Communications Administration obtained by the Epoch Times, there are still about 25,000 people fleeing Wuhan every day, despite the strict travel ban, as indicated by the local residents’ cellphone geolocations.
But those who managed to escape are often met with hostility in other provinces. Some were reported and then arrested. Some were forcibly sent to hospitals, even if they weren’t showing any symptoms or confirmed to have the virus.
According to a video circulating online, one Wuhan resident who escaped to neighboring Hunan province was arrested. The local resident who reported him said, “It’s not that I didn’t want to be nice to you, but you came from Wuhan and I’m afraid of death.”
The coronavirus outbreak has brought out the worst in some people.
According to an article titled “Chinese city accused of stealing virus masks from hard-hit neighbour” by Reuters on February 6, the city of Dali in Yunnan Province intercepted hundreds of boxes of surgical masks bound for Chongqing.
Similar incidents were also reported in Dalian and Shenyang, Liaoning Province and Qingdao, Shandong Province.
From “Controllable and Preventable” to Complete Lockdown
On January 19, Li Gang, director and chief physician for the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a press conference that the epidemic was “preventable and controllable.”
Four days later, the authorities in Wuhan suddenly announced the lockdown of the city. All public transportation, including buses, subways, trains, ferries, and flights, was suspended.
Days later, more cities in Hubei Province, including Ezhou, Huanggang, Chibi, Xiantao, Zhijiang, Qianjjiang, Xianning, Jingmen, Dangyang, Huangshi, Enshi, and Xiaogan, were also put on lockdown.
One Man’s Story of Fleeing the City
Voice of America reported on one Wuhan resident's story of fleeing the city. Mr. Li Xuewen's home is in Hankou District, Wuhan. At 3:00 a.m. on January 23, he, his grandmother, and his in-laws took a taxi to Tianhe Airport. There were very few vehicles on the road, but when he got there at 4:30 a.m. he found the airport filled with people. He received an alert on his phone at 5:00 a.m. that all highways had been put on lockdown.
That night, the Wuhan High-speed Railway Station was also crowded with people lined up to change their trains in order to get out of the city before the lockdown.
Stuck in Wuhan and Hopeless
While some people escaped Wuhan by taking the last flights and trains, most residents were still trapped in the virus-stricken city.
The same Voice of America report, which was published online on January 23, also covered a few other Wuhan residents who were stuck at home.
One local resident, Mr. Zhang Yi, told Voice of America that his family was left in a dire situation with the epidemic – his 81-year-old mother was bedridden and his child was still in college. They didn’t have much food left, and had only one face mask. “We’re required to wear masks in public places. But all masks have already been sold out. What should I do?”
Mr. Zhang added, “The country is now in a mess. The officials only care about reporting to higher-ups, without being responsible to the lower level [residents].”
Mr. Liu, another local resident, also commented to Voice of America, “You can only feel the fear we experience when you are here.”
As the coronavirus continues spreading in the country, many cultural-revolution-style slogans have appeared in cities and villages. One such slogan read, “The coronavirus isn’t scary, as long as all listen to the Communist Party.”
One netizen said, “After all, stability control is the top priority for the Communist Party. They don’t care how many people die.”