Across Wuhan on Thursday, residents — some wearing masks, some sniffing or coughing — visited hospitals and clinics seeking treatment. In interviews with a New York Times correspondent in the city, some said they were angry about the sudden lockdown. Others said they were confused by the restrictions.
Outside the Wuhan No. 3 Hospital, Yang Lin, said she had come to the hospital to see if a sniffling cold she had might be the coronavirus. She said that after a quick check, the doctors told her not to worry. But she was not reassured.
“They said it was just a common cold, and told me to get some medicine and go home,” Ms. Yang, 28, said. “But how am I to know? They didn’t even take my temperature. It’s just not responsible.”
The outbreak is testing Wuhan’s health care system. Several Wuhan residents said on social media websites that they had gone from hospital to hospital, waiting in lines for hours, only to be sent home with medicine and instructions to seek further treatment later if symptoms persisted in a few days.
“The government did not fulfill its duty,” Du Hanrong, 56, a retiree, said by telephone. “They just are doing things hastily and carelessly.”
Doctors told some patients that there was a shortage of hospital beds as well as testing kits, according to posts on Chinese social media sites.
Cheng Shidong, a doctor at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, said in an interview that his hospital had set up 100 beds to receive infected patients, but that it didn’t have enough protective material, such as masks and suits, for the medical staff.