At least 70 people are still trapped inside a collapsed hotel in China's Quanzhou, Fujian Province. The hotel was being used as a facility to quarantine suspected COVID 19 patients.
Eyewitnesses at the scene said that the entire structure collapsed within seconds. At least 23 people trapped have been rescued. There is no information on the injured and dead.
Multiple videos shared online show emergency workers combing through the building's wreckage looking for survivors.
The Xinjia Express Hotel in Quanzhou collapsed around 7 pm local time, however, there is no information on what caused the hotel structure to crumble. The hotel has 80 rooms.
The Beijing News that spoke to several local government officials in Fujian province confirmed that the hotel had been turned into a quarantine zone and was one of two in the Licheng District. The exact number of COVID 19 patients isolated in the building at the time of the collapse was unknown.
An eyewitness who lives across the road from the Xinjia Express Hotel he first mistakenly first thought the hotel collapse was an explosion.
"I was just having dinner and I suddenly heard a loud bang and thought it was an explosion. It was not until I ran to my balcony that I saw that the entire hotel building had collapsed," Mnw.cn quoted the man as saying.
Every province in China currently is battling the coronavirus (COVID 19), with the most number of cases being from Hubei. China currently has at least 80,651 confirmed cases and 3,070 coronavirus deaths.
In Fujian province, there are 296 cases of coronavirus and over 10,000 have been put under isolation. Though there are no figures available for Quanzhou, the city is the most populous city in Fujian.
Meanwhile 10,819 people have been placed under observation because they have been in close contact with someone infected.
According to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the coronavirus has infected 102,469 and killed at least 3,491 globally.
Reuters reported that China's January-February exports contracted 17.2% from last year, marking the steepest fall since February 2019. Analysts polled by Reuters had projected a 14% drop as the coronavirus outbreak disrupted supply chains and dampened demand.
Reuters also reported that China reported a trade deficit of $7.09 billion for the period, versus an expected surplus of $24.6 billion.