Video footage shared on Sunday night of plane passengers reportedly being tested for the deadly “Wuhan” virus is amplifying fear of a global pandemic.
Sixth Tone – “a media start-up under party oversight” according to Foreign Policy – Head of News David Paulk tweeted a video reportedly of passengers on a domestic flight out of Wuhan being scanned by medics in antiviral gear late Sunday night. The footage, already shared over 1,000 times, continues to fuel a rapid increase in concern over the greater threat that the city’s eponymous new virus will escape its already limited containment.
passengers screened for coronavirus symptoms on a domestic flight out of Wuhan pic.twitter.com/ytUbVzpYRZ
— David Paulk 波大卫 (@davidpaulk) January 20, 2020
The video remains unverified by U.S. sources, though similar footage was reportedly captured by another user on Chinese social media. The source claimed the scans were being done after the domestic flight from Wuhan landed at its destination after complaints that one of the passengers was suffering from a fever.
The state-funded “Beijing News” recently released similar footage of scans being done on passengers before takeoff on another flight departing Wuhan, submitted by an individual identified only as “Ms. Cheng.” The footage was taken on a January 12 trip from Wuhan to Macau, where passengers were checked after landing before being allowed to leave the aircraft. China is insisting there is “no need to panic” as they attempt to respond to the illness.
Despite efforts at containment, the SARS-like “coronavirus” has already been confirmed in cases across Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai. Worryingly, it has also escaped China: sighting have been reported in Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will begin screening all passengers from China. “Investigations into this novel coronavirus are ongoing and we are monitoring and responding to this evolving situation,” CDC Director Dr. Martin Cetron said in a press release.