Monday’s Four Corners looks at how coronavirus has sparked a global emergency and hears from Australians in lockdown in China.
The promo also states people are dropping on footpaths, despite Media Watch debunking such claims on Monday.
This story is reported by Sean Nicholls.
“Everyone is hiding…I’m absolutely f***ing petrified.” Australian citizen trapped in China
It’s likened to a scene from an apocalypse. Empty streets, overflowing hospitals and an overwhelming sense of fear in a city of 11 million people placed in “lockdown”.
“What have you done? I don’t want to live anymore…Take those (bodies) lying on the ground somewhere else. Otherwise, you better kill me.” Wuhan hospital worker
In China, almost two thousand people have died as a result of coronavirus with tens of thousands more infected. Authorities are resorting to extreme measures to try to halt the contagion.
“It’s beyond quarantine. I don’t even know what to call it. It’s quite terrifying knowing that people can knock on your door and drag you out for no reason at all because you have a temperature.” Australian citizen trapped in China
The outbreak of the deadly virus in the city of Wuhan has triggered a global emergency with patients being diagnosed in 26 countries. Fifteen cases have been reported in Australia. To try to contain the spread, Australian authorities have effectively sealed our borders to people travelling from China.
“This is unprecedented in the history of modern medicine. We’ve never tried. We know that containment can work, but it’s never really been done at this large scale.” Australian infectious diseases expert
On Monday Four Corners charts how the outbreak occurred and investigates whether a cover up by Chinese authorities allowed the virus to spread.
“Just at a time where they could have traced it, just at a time where perhaps they could have checked it more substantially…that was lost because it got caught up in the politics of the information flow and information surveillance in China.” China expert
In interviews filmed on smartphones, Chinese activists and Australians trapped in the lockdown explain what they are going through.
“There’s queues outside the hospitals now. We’re not allowed near them. There’s people dropping on the footpath, literally.” Australian citizen trapped in China
Here in Australia, scientists are engaged in a race against time to develop a vaccine. Four Corners has gained exclusive access to the high security laboratory involved in key coronavirus research.
“We know it kills people, but we don’t know how many, and we don’t know exactly what the mechanism is by which this virus kills people. So, at the moment we’re taking the highest level of precautions.” Virologist
This comprehensive report explains why health authorities are taking this virus so seriously.
“We always look at the worst-case scenario because if we don’t prepare for the worst-case scenario, we’ll never be forgiven.” Global biosecurity expert
Monday 24th February at 8.30pm on ABC.