Coronavirus: How hospitals in China’s Wuhan kept the sick away | DW | 2020

China’s Hubei province has decided to change the diagnosis criteria for coronavirus, bringing relief to infected residents. One woman felt the effects of the authorities’ penchant to keep the number of infected down.

It took Zhang Hongwen nine days and three swab samples to get her mother hospitalized. Nine days spent in waiting rooms amid a crowd of coughing patients and their relatives. Up to 60 people were crammed into a waiting room the size of a classroom.

“Everybody was using the same toilet. I thought about how easy it was to get infected,” she said. “I felt helpless and terrified but I had no choice. Once my mother had gotten ill, I had to take care of her.”

Zhang (not her real name) is living in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic. DW spoke to her on the phone. Her mother, a woman in her late seventies, came down with fever and cough at the end of January, a few days after a Chinese New Year’s Eve spent with relatives.

“There were young people and children around, maybe she caught it there,” Zhang said. Continue reading