A Chinese person living in Wuhan city -- the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak -- has spoken out about the situation in the city after it was placed under lockdown on Jan. 23.
Said he was risking his life
Recording the video and uploading it onto YouTube on Saturday, Jan. 25, the person, whom we shall be referring to as Chen in this article, said he was "risking his life" by posting the video.
Hopes people outside of China can know the actual situation in Wuhan
Chen first asked his viewers to "cherish" the video as he claimed it was not easy for him to get it up onto the internet.
He said it was because he had to flip over the Great Firewall of China, and that he also had to deal with latency, which causes uploading speed to slow down.
He said: "I hope more ethnic Chinese and people who are kind can see this video, and be aware of the severity of the virus outbreak, as well as the actual living conditions of the people here in Wuhan."
He then raised a couple of issues that he found questionable with the authorities' handling of the virus outbreak.
Here's what he said:
1. Difficult for patients to get treated at hospitals
Chen said it is now near impossible for anyone to get treated at the hospital.
Should one suspect that he or she has contracted the virus, even if they manage to get to the hospital -- public transportation and petrol stations are shut down now -- they would have to queue up as there are no queue numbers to take.
He said: "Often times, people wait for hours for their turn. And even then, they might not even get their turn."
"You might be fine before, but after queuing up, you get contaminated with the virus."
He also said since the emergency hotline 120 is impossible to get through now, it is difficult for people with other illnesses, such as high blood pressure or heart attack to get help.
2. Asked why didn't the authorities tell people to wear masks sooner
Secondly, Chen said he personally witnessed the majority of people walking around in public without face masks the days before Jan. 23 when the city was put under lockdown, even just a day before on Jan. 22.
He said: "People were playing mahjong, chit chatting everywhere, talking with the street vendors."
It was at this moment that Chen became slightly more emotional, although he remained largely calm throughout the 11-minute video.
He asked: "I've got a question for us to discuss here on this public platform. What the hell were the Wuhan mayor and the Party committee secretary doing?"
"As a local government official, did they not receive any information? If they had received information immediately, why hadn't they taken any action?"
Says official should be fired for being incompetent
He also questioned why had the government officials not urged residents to put on their masks when they could have done so during the entirety of their press conference.
"If he hadn't received any first-hand information, then this person had neglected his duty, and is simply not fit to be a government official. Shouldn't he be sacked then?"
Chen then claimed that after the authorities finally put up posters urging residents to wear masks on Jan. 23, the day of the lockdown itself, he started to see more and more people wearing masks.
"This proves that it's not the Wuhan people who refuse to cooperate and wear masks. Instead, it's the local government which didn't do anything at all, or perhaps they had some ulterior motive."
3. Hospitals overloaded & severely lack resources
Chen then claimed he heard from his friends who are working in the hospitals that many patients who walk into a hospital are simply given "either some anti-inflammatory drugs or some hormone injection".
He said: "To put it bluntly, you are just left for dead. If you're strong, you might make it through. If you don't, you're dead."
He also said hospitals simply told people who were symptomatic to go home and isolate themselves.
He asked: "Even if you're suspected to have the virus, shouldn't they at least give you some form of medical diagnosis or treatment? How could they just tell you to go home like that?"
"What if you're a super-spreader, doesn't it mean that the government, or the medical facility, just allowed you to carry the virus back to the community and spread further?"
Wuhan is like hell now
He also said Wuhan city now is "like hell".
He said: "Wuhan was supposed to be a modern city, built after the likes of New York City. But what has happened to it now?"
He further said people are now able to see the real Wuhan from video clips that were uploaded to Twitter and other social media platforms, such as the ones where people were filmed "dropping dead" out of nowhere.
"These things are happening on the first day of the Chinese New Year, when it was supposed to be a festive and joyous occasion. But do you think that us Wuhan people, or even the Chinese, can feel happy now?"
Says international attention on Wuhan is needed to pressure the government
Chen also claimed that he and his friends, who are in their 20s and 30s, are "not dumb, and are not brainwashed".
"In our minds, we know clearly... and we truly know what this country is like."
He added that they simply have no power, and that their bodies are "made of flesh and blood", which "cannot beat metal jackets and tanks".
Once again, he urged the "overseas Chinese" who watch his video to help them by getting the word out about the situation in Wuhan.
He said: "I just want to create some public pressure, to make the Chinese government know not to shirk their responsibilities."
You can watch his video here:
Top image via YouTube