News and Commentary

China Quarantines 20 Million People Amidst Virus Outbreak
Police officers wearing face masks stand guard at a road block outside the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village, a temporary quarantine camp, in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. A deadly coronavirus, which first appeared last month in the city of Wuhan in central China, has spread from the mainland to locations from Hong Kong to the U.S., coloring what is usually a period of celebration and reunion for Chinese people across the world with tension and anxiety.
Photographer: May James/Bloomberg

The Chinese government has quarantined 20 million people around Wuhan, China, amidst fears that Coronavirus, which can easily spread through human-to-human contact, may lead to a national pandemic. 

According to The New York Times, the virus has killed at least 18 people within China and caused symptoms in an additional 600 people in the region and around the world, including one person in Washington state who had recently traveled to China. 

Those closest to the regional center of the outbreak have told the news agency they are anxious from the outbreak, and are outraged that the government doesn’t seem fit to handle the task at hand. 

“They can’t take proper care of all the people here,” Sun Ansheng told the news agency while waiting outside a hospital. “The city government told us there was a virus, but they didn’t explain enough what we should do.”

“I’m willing to accept that we have to stay in Wuhan, O.K., but the medical care needs to keep up,” Yang Lin, a 28-year-old woman, told the news agency, referring to the government-run Chinese healthcare system. “You shouldn’t tell us we can’t leave, and then give us second-rate medical care. That’s unfair.”

According to The Washington Post, Tom Inglesby, the director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins, has expressed skepticism about the presence of a “large-scale quarantines.”

“It runs the risk of people losing confidence in government. And it places enormous responsibilities on government to make sure that people can continue to get food, basic necessities, medicines,” Inglesby told the news agency. 

According to the Associated Press, the symptoms of Coronavirus, which can cause respiratory illness within infected individuals, include fever, cough, trouble breathing and a constrained feeling in the chest area. 

The Times reported Thursday evening that “authorities confirmed the first death outside of the virus’s epicenter, in a province more than 600 miles to the north.” However, no more information is known at this time, and the World Health Organization has not declared a global health emergency. 

According to The Hill, Trump administration health officials, in collaboration with the Senate Health and Foreign Relations committees, are expected to deliver a joint statement on Friday regarding the outbreak in China. 

“The novel coronavirus is an emerging public health threat. Senators will have the opportunity to hear directly from senior government health officials regarding what we know about the virus so far, and how our country is prepared to respond as the situation develops,” announced Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA). 

Furthermore, the State Department and CDC have “issued a travel advisory for China earlier Thursday, urging people to seek medical help if they feel sick after traveling in the affected area,” reports the news agency. 

As The Daily Wire previously reported, the Chinese government quarantined 11 million people in Wuhan earlier this week, and the outbreak has affected several other countries, including Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Thailand. Chinese officials believe that the virus originated from a food market with unsanitary conditions and wild animals.