PHOTOS: Scenes From The Epicenter Of The Coronavirus Outbreak

PHOTOS: Scenes From The Epicenter Of The Coronavirus Outbreak

5:43pm Feb 15, 2020
On Feb. 4, beds were installed in the Wuhan Keting Exhibition Center. With 2,000 beds planned, the center will accommodate patients with mild cases of COVID-19.
On Feb. 4, beds were installed in the Wuhan Keting Exhibition Center. With 2,000 beds planned, the center will accommodate patients with mild cases of COVID-19.
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  • On Feb. 4, beds were installed in the Wuhan Keting Exhibition Center. With 2,000 beds planned, the center will accommodate patients with mild cases of COVID-19.

    On Feb. 4, beds were installed in the Wuhan Keting Exhibition Center. With 2,000 beds planned, the center will accommodate patients with mild cases of COVID-19.

    Stringer for NPR

  • A cyclist crosses the Yangtze River Bridge. Residents of Wuhan are allowed to leave their homes on a limited basis. With public transit shuttered during the quarantine, they use cars, cabs, scooters and bicycles.

    A cyclist crosses the Yangtze River Bridge. Residents of Wuhan are allowed to leave their homes on a limited basis. With public transit shuttered during the quarantine, they use cars, cabs, scooters and bicycles.

    Stringer for NPR

  • A patient is transferred to Jinyintan Hospital.

    A patient is transferred to Jinyintan Hospital.

    Stringer for NPR

  • Group dancing in public squares is a common pastime for women in China.

    Group dancing in public squares is a common pastime for women in China.

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  • A resident walks a dog.

    A resident walks a dog.

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  • People play a game of cards outdoors. Wuhan's government has forbidden large gatherings.

    People play a game of cards outdoors. Wuhan's government has forbidden large gatherings.

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  • Housing compounds in Wuhan are closing off many entrances to restrict movement. The banner says that even during the spring festival, staying at home is the best deal.

    Housing compounds in Wuhan are closing off many entrances to restrict movement. The banner says that even during the spring festival, staying at home is the best deal.

    Stringer for NPR

  • A street vendor operates in an alley.

    A street vendor operates in an alley.

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  • Food is delivered to a hospital on Feb. 10.

    Food is delivered to a hospital on Feb. 10.

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  • A mother and son go for a bike ride.

    A mother and son go for a bike ride.

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  • Delivery services are still operating in Wuhan.

    Delivery services are still operating in Wuhan.

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  • Roads are empty in Wuhan, where public transit has been shut down and residents are restricted in their excursions.

    Roads are empty in Wuhan, where public transit has been shut down and residents are restricted in their excursions.

    Stringer for NPR

  • A sense of humor is still evident in Wuhan, where masks were affixed to the faces of a statue of a mother and her child.

    A sense of humor is still evident in Wuhan, where masks were affixed to the faces of a statue of a mother and her child.

    Stringer for NPR

  • The high-speed trains in Wuhan have been suspended.

    The high-speed trains in Wuhan have been suspended.

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Wuhan is a ghost town, yet there are still definite signs of life.

That's the status of this city of 11 million, which has seen strict quarantine measures imposed in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus disease.

As of Feb. 10, every compound, or residential complex, in Wuhan has been put under "closed-off management" orders by the government.

The goal is to keep healthy people from getting infected by going out and about.

Every compound is closed off with gates or other barricades, with only one gate to let people out. Each family in the compound can send one person out to purchase necessities once every three days. That person must register with an official before leaving, explain the purpose of their trip and give the time of departure. The individual's temperature is taken as well.

When people leave the compound, they must wear masks. Because public transportation has been shut down, they drive, take cabs or ride bikes and scooters during the three-hour window for errands.

Anyone showing symptoms that could indicate infection with the coronavirus — fever, for example, cannot leave and will be reported to the local community office as a suspected case.

Delivery services are still operating. Restaurants, convenience stores, florists and supermarkets all will deliver their goods to customers.

With these extraordinary measures in place, the streets are virtually empty and the mood can be somber. Yet people find ways to carry on, even if it's something as simple as playing a card game. And there's a measure of humor as well — like the masks attached to a city statue of a mother and child.

A prize-winning international photojournalist who lives in Wuhan has captured scenes of life under lockdown. The photographer asked not to be named because of concerns of being targeted by the government.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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