The corona virus infection has killed 41 people as per the latest reports from China, and more than 1,200 people have been infected with the mysterious virus that broke out in Wuhan. The infection is gradually assuming an epidemic dimension within China and slowly spreading to other parts of the world. Besides mainstream media reports, videos and images posted on social media sites in China paint a disturbingly alarming outlook.
A video footage apparently shot by a nurse at the Wuhan Red Cross hospital shows several dead bodies on a packed hospital floor. The person who tweeted the video says there are no doctors to take care of the bodies. China has taken measures both to stem the spread of the infection and also to prevent the spread of misinformation about the state of affairs. However, the latest reports, if true, suggest that the on-ground situation is challenging.
More disturbing videos emerge online
The disturbing visuals in the new video shows dead bodies in a hospital hall even as masked staff and patients move around. The widely shared video was verified by Storyful on Friday, the New York Post reported.
Widely shared videos from Wuhan on Friday showed a scary scene with infected men and women literally 'dropping like flies' on the streets, shops and some even inside long hospital queues. A few even be seen covered in blood after hitting their heads on the ground after collapsing.
Lockdown, panic and mad rush
With panic spreading in the mainland, millions of people are in lockdown and there's a mad rush for essential commodities such as face masks and medicines. Countries around the world are on high alert and health systems are bracing for a serious crisis. There have been confirmed cases in the United States, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Singapore.
While it has been confirmed that the virus infection spread from the seafood and meat market in Wuhan, there's no conclusive leads on how and where it originated. So far, the most credible theory is that the corona virus, named after its shape, mutated in snakes and then transmitted to animals. A study published in the Journal of Medical Virology revealed that patients who became infected with the virus -- which is a type of virus called a coronavirus and was named 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization -- were exposed to wildlife animals at a wholesale market in Wuhan. Apart from snakes, many varieties of seafood, poultry, bats, and other farm animals were sold there.
Conspiracy theories abound
Even as the Wuhan coronavirus alarm is spreading, many conspiracy theories are also floating around. The major theory is that the virus escaped from a Chinese lab which was set up to carry out research into dangerous pathogens. Another outlandish theory focuses on the long-existing belief that big pharmacy is behind the virus.
Wuhan, which has a population of 10 million, also hosts the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory. The lab was set up in 2018 to carry out research into dangerous pathogens like SARS and Ebola. The theorists point fingers at a Nature magazine report that year, which cited a US expert as saying that a virus could potentially escape from the lab. They say that the Wuhan seafood and meat market is just 20 miles from the lab, insinuating that lab animals injected with the virus could have escaped and led to the mutation of the virus.