mandag 10. februar 2020

China's ghost cities: fear of coronavirus leaves streets deserted

Across Beijing, various neighbourhoods and villages are shut to outsiders. Some areas have multiple checkpoints, where commuters must have their temperatures taken. Those detected with a fever are turned away. But residents also describe a newfound sense of community as people pick up groceries for older neighbours. With compounds short on workers, residents have volunteered to clear the snow and ice themselves.

“Ordinary people can’t be afraid. If everyone is afraid, our country will be in trouble,” said a 42-year-old resident in Changying surnamed An, who lives near the new isolation ward.

As the crisis continues, others have grown tired of staying home. At April and Cafe in Beijing’s Hutong neighbourhood of Gulou, customers have started to return. On Thursday afternoon, with seven people in the bar, it is the busiest it has been since the outbreak began, according to its owner. A group poses for a selfie wearing face masks and holding cocktails. A man nurses a drink while reading a book. A bottle of hand sanitiser sits on his table.