Residents of China’s coronavirus-hit Wuhan call for support

Some residents said they were on the “verge of tears” as they read news of the lockdown. (File/AFP)
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Updated 26 January 2020

Residents of China’s coronavirus-hit Wuhan call for support

  • The number of confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the new SARS-like virus is over 570
  • Some called on the government to provide more resources to Wuhan, saying there were not enough masks to buy and that food prices were rising

BEIJING: Wuhan residents called for help and shared worries of food shortages, with some on the “verge of tears,” after the virus-hit central Chinese city was put on effective lockdown on Thursday.
Planes and trains out of Wuhan — the outbreak epicenter of the SARS-like virus — were canceled, with public transport also suspended as authorities told residents not to leave in a bid to control the spread of the virus.
The search term “Wuhan is sealed off” had been read at least 510 million times on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform by Thursday morning with some 214,000 discussion posts.
Some residents said they were on the “verge of tears” as they read news of the lockdown, adding that their families’ lives were “threatened constantly and the target of online abuse.”
“We consciously avoid going out, disinfect diligently and wear masks,” wrote one user in a social media post.
“But there is a lack of food and disinfectants, and we need more resources. We hope everyone can understand that we are feeling as though it is the end of the world.
“We really need everyone’s help.”
Some called on the government to provide more resources to Wuhan, saying there were not enough masks to buy and that food prices were rising.
One user said: “Could the government help to resolve the issue of resources? Can we control food prices?“
The number of confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the new SARS-like virus is over 570, according to China’s National Health Commission, with most in Wuhan.
One video being shared on social media showed a bride in a nearby city wearing a surgical mask, and saying that all the guests who had visited Wuhan for work had been seated at the same table.
Lunar New Year celebrations begin Friday, and it is a popular time for weddings in China.
Another social media user, whose location was tagged as Wuhan, said she is skipping a reunion dinner this year and apologized to her family online.
Video clips of reporters from local news outlets, who were shown wearing masks on camera, made the rounds online as well.
Many Internet users from outside the city expressed sadness and concern for residents, urging them to stay safe.
Others expressed anger at the authorities, questioning why the city was not sealed off sooner.
Some blamed people in Wuhan for eating wild animals.
It is believed that animals are the primary source of the outbreak, and a now-closed seafood market in Wuhan where they were illegally sold is believed to be the source of the outbreak.
One user asked: “Do people enjoy eating wild animals that much? Hasn’t the lesson from SARS been enough?“


World’s oldest man dies in Japan at 112

Updated 25 February 2020

World’s oldest man dies in Japan at 112

  • Chitetsu Watanabe, who was born on March 5, 1907 in Niigata, north of Tokyo, died on Sunday at his nursing home
  • The news came less than two weeks after Watanabe was officially recognized by Guinness World Records

TOKYO: A Japanese man recently named the world’s oldest living male has died aged 112, a local official said Tuesday.

Chitetsu Watanabe, who was born on March 5, 1907 in Niigata, north of Tokyo, died on Sunday at his nursing home in the same prefecture, the official said.

The news came less than two weeks after he was officially recognized by Guinness World Records.

Watanabe, who had five children, said the secret to longevity was to “not get angry and keep a smile on your face.”

He admitted a penchant for sweets such as custard pudding and ice cream.

The oldest man in Japan is now Issaku Tomoe, who is 110 years old, according to Jiji Press, although it was not clear if Tomoe holds the title globally.

The oldest living person is also Japanese, Kane Tanaka, a 117-year-old woman.

Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and has been home to several people recognized as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

The oldest verified person — Jeanne Louise Calment of France — died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness.