Wuhan, a city that is home to some 11 million, has been under lockdown since January 23. For the millions of people still trapped in Wuhan, things have been hard.
Several videos that have surfaced online, tell a story of panic and mass hysteria in the initial days of the lockdown. A video shot in a Wuhan supermarket shows dozens of anxious locals scampering to buy food and in the confusion, a few even end up getting into physical fights.
Chinese authorities in an effort to quarantine the virus-hit city of Wuhan closed off its borders to stop the outbreak from spreading. The mass quarantine was announced on the eve of China's most important holiday, the Lunar New Year - a time of the year when some 35 million Chinese travel across various cities to celebrate the occasion with their families.
As per the latest reports some 5 million people, however, left Wuhan before officials locked down the city on January 23 to limit the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.
Following the shutdown, prices of fresh groceries have surged while the Wuhan inhabitants are wondering how long they need to stay in their apartments. Flights and trains into and out of Wuhan are suspended, and public transport within the city has been stopped. Travel restrictions have also been announced for several nearby cities.
Another video from Wuhan shows desperate Chinese locals, offering money through the downed shutter of a store begging for rice bags from the storekeepers.
In the meantime, the new virus is a coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS has now sign of abetting. The Wuhan coronavirus till now claimed more than 100 lives and infected over 4,500 people across China.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a level 3 alert warning against "all nonessential travel to China" -- its highest alert on a scale of 1 to 3.
"There is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that can be spread from person to person," the CDC said in a statement, warning "there is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas."