A Chinese doctor working at the frontline to treat patients of the novel coronavirus in the city of Wuhan was allegedly captured on camera in the midst of an emotional breakdown.
Such footage have been flooding social media platforms with various claims about its providence linking it to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in China.
In this particular clip, the doctor could be heard crying while talking on the phone.
His colleagues could also be seen trying to comfort him.
Can't go home for Chinese New Year
According to Shanghaiist, the doctor, who appears to be overworked, was saying he needed to work four shifts and did not have time to go home for the Spring Festival.
武汉的一线医生情绪崩溃 pic.twitter.com/rcl7GN6yOG— 蹦蹦擦擦 (@tianlanm) January 23, 2020
He could be heard screaming, "Don't I want to go home? Don't I want to celebrate the new year?"
Patients lying on floor as hospital ran out of beds
He also said, "Take those lying on the floor away."
When his colleague tried to calm him down, he said he was "not making trouble", and repeated, "What about all those people lying on the floor?"
His colleague then tried to suggest getting some other medical professionals to come over to assist them.
But he said, "Who's going to come over?"
His colleague then continued, "Why don't we let the patients go over?"
Another colleague filming him could then be heard saying "No, it doesn't work."
She also said she had already called multiple hospitals for assistance, but none of them could give the help needed.
The doctor then said, "No I don't need more doctors, I already have doctors, the problem is there're no more beds available!"
Wuhan hospitals lacking resources?
Hospitals in Wuhan are allegedly lacking in resources, and have resorted to asking for public donations.
This is... not good. Earlier today, several Wuhan hospitals put out a call for public donations of medical supplies e.g. surgical masks, scrubs, protective goggles. Gives some idea of how desperate the equipment shortage is and how under-resourced hospitals are in times of crisis pic.twitter.com/jhrVPyBTyH— Laurie Chen (@lauriechenwords) January 23, 2020
Talk of the Chinese people helping out by selling such supplies to Wuhan hospitals has been circulating on Weibo as well.
Viral in China
While the video has gone viral on the Chinese intranet, its original source could not be determined.
Such clips, which show the escalating situation in Wuhan, are currently being circulated around rapidly on the Chinese intranet.
There were some other videos that even captured patients allegedly collapsing on the streets and in overcrowded hospitals before getting treated.
The spread of such videos is perhaps due to the perceived scarcity of information from official sources.
For instance, news on the virus were excluded from the front page of the Friday, Jan. 24 edition of People's Daily, the largest newspaper in China, and the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper.
On the front page of China's most influential newspaper on Friday, no mention of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan. The Communist Party is instead showering attention on Xi Jinping and the achievements of the Communist Party. pic.twitter.com/6oVnjEpMSd— Javier C. Hernández (@HernandezJavier) January 23, 2020
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Wuhan police had also detained eight locals for "spreading rumours" about the virus.
Another thing #Chinaisgoodat Wuhan police said on January 1 that it had summoned eight people who spread “rumors” about the coronavirus situation for questioning and punishment. Says a quib,”The virus is not a social media post so can’t just be deleted.” Where are the 8 people? https://t.co/OBqNNhZBLH pic.twitter.com/o3g6hWGWUm— Li Yuan (@LiYuan6) January 21, 2020
Medical workers in Wuhan were also allegedly told not to discuss the development of the virus outbreak with their family and friends in gatherings or in public.
Sources in #Wuhan shared the message with me, which allegedly shows that all staff at hospitals are forbidden to discuss about the latest development of #WuhanCoronavirus outbreak with family, relatives and friends through email, phone calls, texts, WeChat, Weibo or e-mail. pic.twitter.com/LD6DVamZvH— William Yang (@WilliamYang120) January 24, 2020
The Chinese government is known for past instances of cover-ups.
The lack of accurate information and rumours then led to a buying frenzy for Chinese herbal medicines and vinegar, Quartz reported.
China has since apologised for its slow reporting on the outbreak, and promised to establish "a national medical emergency mechanism immediately".
More Chinese cities under lockdown
The city of Wuhan was under lockdown since Thursday morning, Jan. 23, in an attempt to contain the virus.
The government had also mandated residents to wear face masks in public places.
More cities in Hubei province were added to the list of cities on lockdown on Friday, Jan. 24, and public transport has been restricted in at least 10 cities.
Top image adapted via @tianlanm