Coronavirus death toll tops 1000 in China, US reports 13th case


Across the globe the spread of coronavirus shows no signs of slowing down this week Chinese health officials reported that more than forty thousand people have been infected globally the death toll is also on the rise with more than one thousand reported dead so far the majority of those cases are in China where everyday life is at a standstill in an effort to contain the corona virus Chinese authorities have implemented mass quarantines across central China specifically around the city of Wuhan and who bay province where the fires first broke out a government imposed lockdown in the region has restricted transportation and people are being encouraged to remain in their homes plus many businesses and schools are still close across China but despite the quarantine the number of confirmed infections continues to climb daily at the same time a different kind of quarantine is taking place online the Chinese government has been working to suppress discussion of the outbreak since late December when people first started posting about it across the internet for more on this we're joined by two journalists who have recently been quarantined Steven McDonald Beijing based correspondent with the BBC and Sean lead China based correspondent for the Wall Street journal thank you both for coming back on the program hiring good don't do now both of you have personally been under quarantine during this outbreak Sean let's start with you how do you get out of quarantine so I was in quarantine in China into a province for twelve days and essentially the local authorities told us that the quarantine was going to be extended indefinitely and the only way out of out of the city where we were and how to a province was to take at the American evacuation flight out of lawn so that's what we did with our colleague last Friday so now I'm in quarantine again and the US at Travis Air Force base for another fourteen fourteen days north California and how does it how are the conditions compared of from China to where you are right now it's it's very different so in China out we weren't allowed to leave our rooms because at a certain point they were afraid that we were actually infected yeah even our temperatures were on a normal so in the US were allowed to leave our rooms you know we're allowed to go outside on who to a hotel grounds we were on were on air base in a hotel and but they put a temporary barricades around the hotel grounds guarded by US marshals in case we go stir crazy and make a run for it but you know there's a striking difference between the two and how did you feel stir crazy at any point during this last few weeks intranet definitely because we were confined to our rooms and we were there for over a week so even though it was very nice hotel you get you know you kind of get sensory deprivation for not having seen are you know Arab spoken to anyone else for over a week I Stephen you were just released from quarantine in Beijing correct what was your ex how was your experience different so what I'm two losses we went into who by province from who none that's in neighboring province we wanted to go in that way because we knew that these sort of lockdowns was starting we thought if we have a car that's going to break plates it's going to restrict this so we went to Hunan hide a car and driving now on the way Ian pot from going past you know the more more serious roadblocks as you approach to buy we went in sort of bar a Backstreet I think we thought it would be pretty easy to go down this dirt road and sneak into this province but even there there was a police roadblock and they're like oh you can go in but when talk back out again at this point you realize that we're gonna lock down old from by these sixty million people effectively you know you're looking down the entire population of easily and you know we never the less pressed on a drive through various ghost town like places of nobody in on the streets and some small cities there and we ended up at one place where in a hospital and interviewing a patient on the inside bira phone app who told us he was pretty wide exit gone into the hospital he had a temperature but he thought he didn't necessarily have the coronavirus when you eighteen he thought he might catch it anyway because I'd stop him in this ward with other coronavirus patients and so he sort of inevitably thought he is going to end up being infected anyway at this point the police turned up and some local government officials and they didn't want us to be there in their town at reporting they sort of wanted us to move on and was saying look you know I really want to get back to not at some point but now we can't go back there now it's locked down and all at this point they decided well I'd rather breach their own quarantine rules that have a team of pesky journalists hang around there and so we had a police escort lights flashing it everything and the drivers back across out of who by and that's how we got out of that province and ended up returning to Beijing now anybody who's been in bay is advised to being quarantined for two weeks so we just decided to do it anyway like my boss said beat up stateside home for two weeks but it's funny the response to this in all aspects of this emergency it differs from city to city so two of my colleagues went back to Shanghai now in Shanghai to be much more strict on journalists there they had police and medical James knocking on the door making them signed documents you will not leave your home for two weeks at central in Beijing it hasn't been like that I just got a call from the foreign ministry all heard you've been there he's sick he's dying and I'm like I look out the self see light at so just depends where you end up in terms of how strict it is shown in the Wall Street journal your paper had a headline stating that president xi inspected a hospital after quote a conspicuous absence has his absence had a political reverberations yes I mean she's alright he hasn't been seen publicly add any sort of hospital or talking to patients he actually dispatch the premier to will Honda few weeks ago to visit hospitals and speak to you and talk to patients and medical workers so it it's it you know it's it's the fact that he hasn't shown his face and in the front lines of the outbreak has been very conspicuous especially as public anger has surged over the weeks with how the government has been handling it and last week when that young doctor and Honda whistleblower doctor Lee when they are on diets from after being infected with corona virus are there was just a huge outpouring online of people questioning where was the job where was the government how how it works how were they handling or mishandling the outbreak and so how has the government responded to this anger so they have aggressively censored a lot of people's comments online the the sensors have been working overtime and on the other hand they've also been sending more higher level health experts to bay and two will Hines so just yesterday they to a province ousted the two top level provincial health health officials and actually replaced up replace them with a veteran health official from the national health commission so it appears like they're bringing in more experts also the team from the W. H. O. landed and China yesterday to help the government's response so so that those are Sir two aspects of

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