Chinese coronavirus origin city Wuhan has taken on the appearance of “doomsday” as clogged hospitals are forced to turn sick people away, leaving them with no choice but to go home or wait outside.
One woman has travelled to multiple hospitals seeking urgent treatment for her ill husband, but was refused from each one and left stranded outside and with no option but to watch while he coughed up blood.
“People just keep dying, no one is taking care of the bodies. If this goes on like this, we will all be doomed,” the woman, named Xiaoxi, told The South China Morning Post.
“I am desperate, I have lost count of time and days. I don’t know if we will both live to see the new year.”
She said her husband had been regularly coughing up blood and had a fever, but no hospital would take him in due to a lack of available beds.
Hospitals in Wuhan are at capacity with at least 12 nearby cities and 36 million people being placed into lockdown.
The total number of confirmed cases in China now stands at 1,287, the National Health Commission said, with 41 having been killed.
A 62-year-old doctor, named Liang Wudong, who worked at the hospital where the virus was first detected has died after being infected himself, the China Global Television Network reported on Saturday.
More than 1,300 people are infected globally, including a man who on Saturday was confirmed as the first victim in Australia.
He is in a stable condition and has been isolated in Melbourne to undergo treatment, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.
The vast majority of the cases and all of the confirmed deaths to date have been in China, but the virus has also been detected in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal, France and the United States.
Footage, shared by news site Shanghaiist, from “ground zero” in Wuhan has emerged showing a hospital packed wall-to-wall with mask-wearing members of the public anxiously looking for help.
The virus is feared to have been caused by people in China eating the dead bodies of bats.
Confronting images from Wuhan showed panicked locals stocking up on supplies as the city and its neighbouring areas were thrown into lockdown this week.
In Australia, five people are undergoing testing for the virus in NSW and two in Queensland, with a number of people having already been cleared in both states.
France has had three people test positive - the disease's first appearance in Europe.
Two cases, including a Chicago woman returning from China, have been confirmed in the United States.
Other than in Victoria, no more victims have been confirmed in Australia.
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