‘The city is suffocating’: diary of the Wuhan coronavirus lockdown

A resident describes life in the city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak

Thursday 23 January (first day of lockdown) At 2am the government says my home town, Wuhan, is soon to be placed under lockdown. All the trains, flights and public transport will be cancelled. People have talked about the virus for a while. The spread of the outbreak is getting worse. I suppose it is the right decision.

When I go outdoors I am cautious and mostly stay in the car. There are 11 million people in my city but the streets are empty. We have never seen it like this before. It’s normal for a lot of the stores to be shut during Chinese new year but this is different. I’m lucky to find masks on my second run to a pharmacy. I go to the supermarket but vegetables are sold out.

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What is coronavirus and how worried should we be?

What are the symptoms caused by the virus from Wuhan in China, how is it transmitted from one person to another, and at what point should you see a doctor?

It is a novel coronavirus – a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has come from animals. Many of those infected either worked or frequently shopped in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the centre of the Chinese city, which also sold live and newly slaughtered animals. New and troubling viruses usually originate in animal hosts. Ebola and flu are other examples.

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‘All men for 150 years’: women take centre stage at Royal New Zealand Ballet

The national ballet troupe will become the first classical company in the world to perform an entire year of works choreographed by women

It’s an ethereal art form in which dancers, who are overwhelmingly female, strive for unattainable perfection performing works almost always created by men. But in uncompromising world of ballet, where the work of female choreographers is often relegated to one-off showcases while men take the spotlight, a ballet company in New Zealand is making history with a whole year of performances that put women creators centre stage.

“For 14 years I’d only ever performed works by men,” says Alice Topp, a ballerina and, in 2018, the second woman ever to hold the post of resident choreographer at the Australian Ballet in its almost 60-year history. Now, she perches on a Swiss ball in the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s light, airy rehearsal studios in Wellington, still sweating from the morning class she has just ducked out of, hair loose around her shoulders.

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Help or hindrance? How Chinese politics affected coronavirus response

Authoritarian bureaucracy has allowed dramatic response but also let virus fester

When Wuhan’s mayor took to live national television to discuss the rapidly escalating outbreak of coronavirus in his city, he came primed for a rare – and very prolonged – display of self criticism.

Over nearly an hour Zhou Xianwang said his work “wasn’t performed well enough”, that the city government had failed to provide timely information or act on what it knew, and offered his own resignation, although it is yet to be accepted.

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Britons in Wuhan miss evacuation flight after ‘confusing messages’

Flight half full due to lack of clarity over who could fly and how to reach airport amid lockdown

Britons still stranded in the Chinese city at the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak have said confusing messages from officials contributed to them missing an evacuation flight home.

Downing Street said on Thursday that up to 200 people would be on the chartered flight, but when it left Wuhan at 9.45am on Friday only 83 British people and 27 foreign nationals were onboard. It landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at 1330 local time.

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Outbreaks of xenophobia in west as coronavirus spreads

Incidents of hostility towards Asian people reported in Italy, France, Canada and UK

Chinese people in western countries where there have been cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have said they have been the target of racist abuse as paranoia mounts over the outbreak.

In Italy, the European country with the highest annual number of Chinese tourists, the confirmation of two confirmed cases – a couple who arrived in Milan from Wuhan on 23 January on a lunar new year holiday – coincided with incidents of xenophobia and calls to avoid Chinese restaurants and shops.

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‘Mollah’s life was typical’: the deadly ship graveyards of Bangladesh

Khalid Mollah died while working among the thousands who dismantle old ships in Chittagong. Now, in a test case that could transform the industry, his widow is suing the firm that sold the vessel for scrap

Khalid Mollah was uneducated, illiterate and out of work when, in early 2009, he left his pregnant wife Hamida Begum to take the 200-mile bus ride to Chittagong from the small village of Gopai, in northern Bangladesh. The young man’s destination was Sitakunda, the notorious, 20km stretch of wide beach and tidal mudflats just north of Bangladesh’s fast-growing second city.

Here, nearly 25,000 people work in dozens of ship-breaking yards, steel-rolling mills and factories to recover and sell on every bit of plate metal, deck, mast, funnel, hatch, gangplank, wire, nut, cable, bolt, wood and rivet that makes up the world’s giant ships.

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Australians in Hubei could miss evacuation flight because of transport shutdown

Pregnant women and elderly Australians in Wuhan also worried about health facilities on Christmas Island

Hundreds of Australians trapped in the city of Wuhan could miss out on the government’s proposed evacuation to Christmas Island as transport is shut down in Hubei province.

Elderly Australians and pregnant women also have health concerns about being held for 14 days in the isolated island’s former detention centre, due to its rudimentary health facilities. Christmas Island is located 2,600km from the Australian mainland in the Indian Ocean.

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Coronavirus live updates: flight carrying Britons from Wuhan lands in UK

Cases also reported in Russia, as US advises against travel to China. Follow live updates and latest news

The hospital in Newcastle which is treating Britain’s first confirmed cases of coronavirus has urged other patients to attend their appointments as normal.

Two Chinese nationals were taken to the hospital from a hotel in York after displaying symptoms of the virus.

Eagle eyed readers are questioning why the driver of the coach, which is transferring passengers on the evacuation flight from Wuhan to the UK to Arrowe Park hospital in Wirral, is not wearing any protective clothing.

The driver in a high-vis jacket, is sat next to a medic who is wearing a full Hazmat suit including a helmet with a visor.

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A man lies dead in the street: the image that captures the Wuhan coronavirus crisis

‘These days, many have died,’ says bystander as image shows emergency workers in protective suits and masks taking body away

It is an image that captures the chilling reality of the coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan: a grey-haired man wearing a face mask lies dead on the pavement, a plastic shopping bag in one hand, as police and medical staff in full protective suits and masks prepare to take him away.

On what would typically be a crowded street in Wuhan, an industrial city of 11 million people under quarantine, there are only a few passersby – but they dare not go near him.

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