Coronavirus: Videos claim to show people collapsing in Wuhan
Disturbing videos have emerged purporting to show people collapsing in the streets of the Chinese city at the centre of the new coronavirus outbreak.
Dozens of videos tagged as coming from Wuhan show people lying in the street after collapsing where they stand or being tended to by medics as people in face masks rush to help.
The new strain of coronavirus, a SARS-like disease which attacks the respiratory system, has killed at least 26 people and infected 800 worldwide.
Videos purporting to come from the Chinese city of Wuhan, at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, show people collapsing on the floor and being treated by medics
The footage, which MailOnline has been unable to verify, shows multiple people collapsed in the street and inside office buildings
MailOnline has been unable to verify the videos, which are being widely circulated on social media.
It is not clear where or when precisely much of the footage was taken, though all of it appears to come from China.
While the disease is mostly confined to China, isolated cases have been reported in Vietnam, South Korean, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Japan.
One case has also been confirmed in the US state of Washington, while multiple people in the UK are also suspected of having the virus.
All of the fatalities have so-far taken place in China.
Wuhan, a city of some 11 million people, has been placed on total lockdown, with roads blocked, trains cancelled and airports closed in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Seven other cities – Ezhou, Huanggang, Chibi, Qianjiang, Zhijiang, Jingmen and Xiantao – have also been placed under total lockdown.
Meanwhile in Zhijiang all public venues have been closed, while in Enshi, indoor entertainment venues have been shuttered in an attempt to control the virus.
In one of the videos, a man can be seen lying on the floor inside what appears to be a bank as people wearing masks look on.
A few moments later another person dressed in a white hazmat suit comes over to treat them.
Other footage shows people in similar white suits treating someone in the middle of a shopping centre, while a third shows a person lying on the floor in a gym.
Other videos show ambulances stopped alongside two people lying on the floor who appear to be unresponsive.
A particularly dramatic piece of CCTV shows a person wearing a face mask standing on the street, before collapsing to the floor as others rush to help.
Wuhan is thought to be ground zero for the new disease – where it first jumped from animals to humans – and has been placed on lockdown by Chinese authorities
The World Health Organisation has said it is ‘too early’ to declare coronavirus an international emergency, but said the outbreak is very concerning
The World Health Organisation has refused to declare coronavirus a global health emergency at this stage, saying it is ‘too soon’ to increase the threat level.
‘This should not be taken as a sign that we don’t think the outrbreak is serious, or that we are not taking it seriously,’ said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
‘Nothing could be further from the truth.’
Dr Ghebreyesus said that he stands ready to reconvene the emergency committee to call a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) if necessary.
For the time being, professor Diddiet Houssin, the meeting’s Chair, said that the number of cases abroad is still fairly limited and the efforts being made in China are, for now, sufficient to keep the outbreak relatively contained.
‘It’s a bit too early,’ to declare a PHEIC, he said.
He underscored the importance of continued exit screening, but acknowledged that it’s unlikely that new cases of the virus, which the committee will continue to call 2019-nCoV for now, will not crop up in currently unaffected nations.
‘Be ready to cope with some cases,’ he advised.
‘Let’s hope that they remain sporadic, but the global community should be readyfor the potential evolution of this epidemic.’
Meanwhile, the CDC has issued its highest travel warning, but the State Department had advised Americans planning to visit China to exercise increased caution.
US health officials started screening passengers arriving from China at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport after the first case was confirmed in Washington state on Tuesday.
Chinese authorities say 25 people have died and now more than 800 people have been infected across the world, with cases cropping up in the US, Saudi Arabia and Singapore
Three Chinese cities, including Wuhan – which has banned all flights in and out of the city, were placed in quarantine in a desperate attempt to try to contain the SARS-like virus, which can cause pneumonia and organ failure
The coronavirus can lead to pneumonia, which can kill people by causing them to drown in the fluid flooding their lungs
Screening has now been expanded to two more airports: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Chicago O’Hare.
According to the CDC, the first patient – a man who lives in Snohomish County and is in his 30s – arrived in the US on January 15 after visiting Wuhan.
He reportedly had no symptoms of the virus upon arrival but, after reading about the outbreak online and developing symptoms, he contacted his doctor.
The man is currently quarantined in a hospital outside of Seattle.
Meanwhile, in China, officials have taken unprecedented measures in an attempt to stop the spread of this rapidly-developing outbreak.
On Thursday, authorities announced that planes, trains and buses leaving Wuhan were canceled. Tollways on roads out of the city were also shut down.
Additionally, all public transportation within the city would be suspended, including buses, subways and ferries.
China has also closed several tourism attractions and cultural sites including Beijing’s Forbidden City, which saw 19 million visitors last year.
Three passengers – a man and two children – arrive at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 3 on January 23 after flying from China
Doctors at the Central Hospital of Wuhan attend to a patient with coronavirus. It is unclear when this picture was taken
In one video, a man can be seen ‘disinfecting’ eerily quiet streets of Wuhan, with billowing fumes filling the air outside an apartment block
City authorities also canceled Lunar New Year events in the nation’s capital as well as temple fairs ‘to strengthen prevention and support’.
The Wuhan coronavirus is believed to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market, with experts suggesting the virus was passed to humans from snakes or wolf cubs.
Most of the cases are in China, but patients have been confirmed in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the US.
Almost all of the 26 deaths have occurred among older males who had pre-existing conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease of Control and Prevention, signs may appear as quickly as two days or as far as 14 days after exposure.
The agency says this is based on what was seen in the incubation period for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a cousin of the new virus that originated in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
There is no cure for the new virus or vaccine to prevent it, and the National Institutes of Health says research to develop a vaccine is in ‘very preliminary stages.’
Coronavirus: What we know so far
What is this virus?
The virus has been identified as a new type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of pathogens, most of which cause mild respiratory infections such as the common cold.
But coronaviruses can also be deadly. SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is caused by a coronavirus and killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in the early 2000s.
Can it kill?
Yes. Seventeen people have so far died after testing positive for the virus. What are the symptoms?
Its symptoms are typically a fever, cough and trouble breathing, but some patients have developed pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening infection that causes inflammation of the small air sacs in the lungs. People carrying the novel coronavirus may only have mild symptoms, such as a sore throat. They may assume they have a common cold and not seek medical attention, experts fear.
How is it detected?
The virus’s genetic sequencing was released by scientists in China to the rest of the world to enable other countries to quickly diagnose potential new cases. This helps other countries respond quickly to disease outbreaks.
To contain the virus, airports are detecting infected people with temperature checks. But as with every virus, it has an incubation period, meaning detection is not always possible because symptoms have not appeared yet.
How did it start and spread?
The first cases identified were among people connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.
Cases have since been identified elsewhere which could have been spread through human-to-human transmission.
What are countries doing to prevent the spread?
Countries in Asia have stepped up airport surveillance. They include Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines.
Australia and the US are also screening patients for a high temperature, and the UK announced it will screen passengers returning from Wuhan.
Is it similar to anything we’ve ever seen before?
Experts have compared it to the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The epidemic started in southern China and killed more than 700 people in mainland China, Hong Kong and elsewhere