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Wuhan lawyer quarantined despite being free of coronavirus

26 February 2020

Wuhan lawyer Lisa Wang has told CNN that she was quarantined on Tuesday 18 February despite having recovered from the coronavirus. She was forced into a makeshift quarantine centre at a technology park, putting her at risk of cross-infection with hundreds of other patients in the facility.

Three weeks ago, while infected with the virus, she was turned away from a hospital in Wuhan, because there weren’t enough beds.

He involuntary relocation came amid escalating government efforts to maintain the spread of the virus. Leaders in Beijing removed Communist Party bosses in early February, replacing them with two people from outside the province, both with extensive backgrounds in law enforcement.

Wang Zhonglin replaced the city’s party chief and ordered a city-wide, three-day roundup up of people possibly sickened with the virus, following a decree by the central leadership to "round up everyone who should be rounded up".

Wang Zhonglin warned that district party bosses and governors would be held responsible if any confirmed or suspected cases were found at home after the dragnet ended on Wednesday.

Confirmed patients with mild symptoms were put into so-called Fangcang Hospitals across the city and suspected cases and close contacts of confirmed cases with fevers were put in temporary quarantine centres set up in requisitioned hotels and university dormitories.

Ms Wang was cleared in early February of the coronavirus following two nucleic acid tests arranged by her neighbourhood committee. Despite this the committee insisted she move into a “quarantine hotel”. At the quarantine hotel a chest scan was done, confirming the lung infection was gone.

Her relief was short-lived when she was told she could not go home and was transferred to a Fangcang hospital because she couldn’t provide a “discharge letter”, which she had no way of obtaining because she had never been admitted into a hospital.

Bags of garbage, including unfinished meals and used masks, were piling up on the floor, and no medicine or treatment were provided to patients apart from daily temperature checks, according to Ms Wang. "Here, two doctors are in charge of 200 patients," she said. There was no central heating inside, instead heated blankets were provided to patients and showers and portable toilets were located outside in the cold.

"I think now (they are carrying out this) one size for all sweeping policy," Wang said, "They would rather wrong 10,000 people than miss that 100.”

After complaining about her case, Ms Wuhan was told she could leave, but instead was transferred to another quarantine hotel. She is unsure how long she will be in that facility.

Last updated on the 26th February 2020