Life and death inside China’s coronavirus lockdown

In China, over 45 million people are under lockdown in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus. This is what life looks like in the city at the heart of the outbreak

At the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, an elderly man lies dead on the pavement after collapsing in a street in Wuhan. The central Chinese city is home to 11 million people, but on January 23 the Chinese government put the entire city under lockdown, suspending all buses, trains, flights and ferries.

In the following week the lockdown was extended to multiple cities in Hubei province – the central Chinese province that has bore the brunt of the outbreak so far. There are now 45 million people living under quarantine throughout Hubei province.

But with the lockdown entering its second week and the outbreak showing no signs of slowing down, tens of millions of Chinese citizens are having to adjust to life under quarantine. These photos gives a glimpse inside Wuhan, the isolated city at the heart of the global epidemic.

Coronavirus struck just as the world’s largest mass migration – the Lunar New Year – was getting underway. Announced at 02:00 on January 23, over 300,000 people left the city by train before the quarantine became effective at 10:00, according to a now-deleted social media post from Wuhan Railway.

Three days later the Chinese government banned all non-essential vehicles from the downtown region of Wuhan. According to China Daily, an English-language newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist Party, the government has recruited a fleet of 6,000 taxis to help people get around the city now that public transport has been suspended.

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