life in wuhan chine coronavirus
Photo by STR/AFP

Photos From Wuhan Under the Coronavirus Lockdown

For at least 9 million residents trapped in Wuhan, this is their reality.
February 5, 2020, 9:18am

As of Wednesday morning, February 5, the global death toll of the novel coronavirus has exceeded 490 people. In China's Hubei province alone, 479 have died. About 70 percent of all deaths come from its capital city and the epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan, where there have been more than 300 deaths.

In a move that’s basically unprecedented in the modern era, the Chinese government forced the city of Wuhan into lockdown on January 23. Some 5 million people managed to escape the city before the lockdown, but at least 9 million residents remain there. Now, more than two weeks later, the epidemic is putting Wuhan’s medical staff and facilities under severe strain. Many infected victims are receiving inadequate treatment, simply because there aren't enough resources to go around.


For residents of Wuhan, life inside a containment bubble has become uncertain and frightening. People are essentially forced to bunker down and hope the virus fizzles out as the weather gets warmer. These photos shed some light on what day to day life looks like for people who remain in the city.


A doctor being disinfected at a quarantine zone in Wuhan. Photo by STR/AFP.


Staff members of a funeral parlour in protective suits, undergoing disinfection after transferring a body in a hospital. Photo by STR/AFP.


On a Wuhan street outside a furniture store, an elderly man collapsed and died while people watched on and kept their distance. It has not been determined if he had contracted the coronavirus. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP.


Shortly after the above photo was taken, medical staff in protective suits arrived at the scene to remove the body. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP.


Medical staff members at a quarantine zone leaving lunch boxes for patients on the floor to avoid cross-infection. Photo by STR/AFP.


Workers at the construction site of the Huoshenshan hospital. The emergency hospital was built in just 10 days, and will house 1,000 coronavirus patients. Photo by STR/AFP.


A family looks out their window in the outskirts of Wuhan. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP.


As the city goes under lockdown, the streets of Wuhan are deserted. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP.


A police officer in front of Huanan Seafood Wholesale market in Wuhan, where animal specimens have tested positive for the 2019-nCoV strain of coronavirus. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP.

With the threat of contagion enveloping the city, getting food is a challenge for many residents. Food delivery app Meituan is providing a “contactless delivery” option for customers to minimise face-to-face interaction with delivery men.


A lone woman walking down the street wearing a face mask. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP.


As the city goes under lockdown, roads out of Wuhan have been barricaded by the police. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP.

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This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.