• The epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan, a city in the Chinese province of Hubei with a population of 11 million, has been under an unprecedented quarantine since January 23.
  • The coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, has so far killed 170 people and infected more than 7,700 worldwide as of Thursday morning.
  • In just a week, the city has experienced food shortages, an overwhelming number of patients, and several evacuations of foreigners visiting the city.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan, a city in the Chinese province of Hubei with a population of 11 million, has been under an unprecedented quarantine since January 23.

The coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, has so far killed 170 people and infected more than 7,700 worldwide as of Thursday morning. The novel coronavirus has surpassed the number of confirmed cases from the SARS outbreak (5,327 cases), which also originated in China and killed nearly 800 people worldwide.

SARS, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome, is also in the same viral family as 2019-nCoV.

In just a week, the city has experienced food shortages, an overwhelming number of patients, and several evacuations of foreigners visiting the city.

Developments in the coronavirus outbreak and how city is coping paints a picture of panic, as Wuhan ends its first week under quarantine:


People crowd into hospitals seeking treatment for coronavirus symptoms, which mirror that of pneumonia or the flu.

A doctor said thousands of patients were waiting hours to receive medical help as the coronavirus continues to spread at "an alarming rate."

Source: Business Insider


As hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with patients, the city is attempting to build two hospitals to accommodate the influx.

Construction has begun on two hospitals in the city - the Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital, which is expected to open February 3, and the Leishenshan Hospital, due to open February 5.

Source: Business Insider


China is sending in military doctors and medical staff from other provinces to assist local doctors and nurses with a staggering number of patients.

Medical professionals from other provinces are traveling to the epicenter with boxes of protective masks and other supplies to provide aid to Wuhan.

State media reported that the country's central military command also sent 40 medical staffers to assist civilian doctors and nurses in Wuhan, and they expect to send more as the coronavirus spread rapidly increases.

Source: South China Morning Post, Reuters


Hospital staff in Wuhan are treating so many people simultaneously that they began to wear diapers because they don't have time to use the bathroom.

STR/AFP via Getty Images

Hospital staff in Wuhan are wearing adult diapers because they don't have time to use the bathroom in between treating coronavirus patients, The Washington Post reported last week.

Medical staff are also wearing diapers so they don't have to take off their hazmat suits in case they rip it and can't get a new one due to lack of supplies.

Source: Business Insider; The Washington Post


As transportation in and out of the city is on lockdown with the quarantine, there are reports of shelves being empty at supermarkets.

Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images/Business Insider

When the lockdown was first announced, people began to stockpile food and resources in a desperate attempt to sustain themselves amid an unprecedented quarantine.

A woman from New Zealand, who was in Wuhan to visit her father for the Lunar New Year, told NewsHub about the conditions.

"It's quite scary here," she said. "There's all kinds of rumours online and there's a shortage of medical supplies. If we go outside, we cannot buy masks anywhere.

"There's also a shortage of food," she added to NewsHub. "A lot of shelves are empty."

A video shows medical staff apparently in Wuhan saying there is no more food or drink left in the hospitals, and asking for more provisions to be sent to the city.


City officials shut down local transportation like buses and trains and encouraged residents to stay home amid the outbreak.

Streets are eerily empty throughout the city as residents come to grips with isolation to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Source: Business Insider


Foreigners are leaving Wuhan in droves as they evacuate the epicenter of the outbreak.

US citizens boarded a flight to California from Wuhan. The passengers are being held at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California for screening for the coronavirus.

Source: Business Insider


Several countries have issued travel warnings to citizens thinking of going to China as a whole, not just the city of Wuhan.

Several countries, including the US, UK, and Canada, have warned against all nonessential travel to China to stem the spread of the disease, which has already been confirmed in at least 18 other countries.

Source: Business Insider


The coronavirus outbreak caused cities across the country to cancel their celebrations of the Lunar New Year.

The novel coronavirus outbreak in China began in tandem with a significant holiday in the Chinese culture: the Lunar New Year. Cities around the country are forced to cancel one of the most important cultural events of the year.

Source: Business Insider


The disease takes not only a physical but an emotional toll on patients as they are forced to be separated from their friends and families in isolation.

Beijing-based therapist Candice Qin told The Washington Post that she talked to a doctor who was infected by a patient, saying the doctor was "devastated."

Qin added that the doctor isolated herself in her apartment without telling her parents, feeling a "sense of helplessness and loneliness."

Source: Business Insider


The city is experiencing a shortage of protective gear to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Fears from the coronavirus are causing a high demand for face masks, so much so that Chinese officials warned that the country is facing a massive shortage of the protective device.

However, experts say the masks may not be that helpful in preventing the spread of the disease, who originated as a zoonotic virus which can be spread through human-to-human contact.

Source: Business Insider


Wuhan is not the only city on lock down.

Sky news

Shortly after Wuhan was put under quarantine, other Chinese cities were also put on lock down. As of earlier this week, 46 million people across 16 cities were under quarantine.

The coronavirus has been detected in every province in China.

Source: Business Insider