China coronavirus: Photo of elderly man lying dead on Wuhan street goes viral

On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus crisis a global health emergency

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The horrific picture of a man lying dead on a street in Wuhan went viral on Friday, signalling the wave of death and panic sweeping the Chinese city of more than 11 million people. The picture, tweeted multiple times by international news outlets, shows the grey haired man lying on his back, holding a plastic carry bag.

AFP reported that emergency medical staff in protective body suits arrived on the scene and carried the body away after shrouding it in blankets. The man papered to be about 60 years of age and the cause of his death could not be officially ascertained. "It's terrible ... These days many people have died," a woman the agency spoke to at the scene, said.

WHO declares global health emergency

On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus crisis a global health emergency. More than 200 people have died in China so far, while the number of infections has risen to over 10,000 worldwide. Countries far and wide have reported infections, though China had put in place strong quarantine measures initially.

Wuhan, the epicentre of the infection, is apparently creaking under the unprecedented medical emergency. The news agency reported that there are long queues at hospitals and that there are people who have not been able to see doctors even after spending two days in the queue.

Dead body spotted close to main Wuhan hospital

The dead body of the man was spotted quite close to the No. 6 Hospital in Wuhan, which is one of the main medical facilities where coronaviorus patient are being treated. "In two hours... at least 15 ambulances passed by, attending other calls," a Twitter user said, drawing attention to the scale of the emergency and the apparent shortage medical staff and facilities.

Meanwhile, reports from various parts of China showed that panic was setting in among the people as medical supplies faced shortages. The scramble for surgical masks increased even as the Lunar New Year holidays crippled the supplies. The official death toll from the deadly novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV reached 213 in China on Thursday, Jan. 30.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a 'Public Health Emergency of International Comcern' (PHEIC) late on Thursday, which was a much-anticipated move. Officially there are about 10,000 people in China who are infected with the virus. Elsewhere in the world, nearly 1000 cases have been reported already, spread over 18 countries.

WHO declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern when there is "an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease"

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