Americans are helpless in Wuhan

Americans are helpless in Wuhan 1

`The general feeling of Americans here is despair and abandonment,` Perez, an American citizen living in Wuhan city, Hubei province, central China, said in an online interview on March 30.

Doug Perez with his pet dog in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China.

The Chinese government last week ordered a complete blockade of Wuhan, where the acute pneumonia outbreak caused by a new strain of the corona virus (nCoV) began, leaving 9 million people stranded, including thousands of foreigners.

On January 28, the United States sent the first plane to evacuate 195 American citizens from Wuhan to March Air Force Base in California, most of whom were diplomatic officials and their families.

However, hundreds of Americans are still stuck in Wuhan with little support information.

When Sodhi brought his family here to visit relatives on January 14, the city government had not yet announced an epidemic, leaving him unaware of the situation.

Sodhi said the information he received from the US embassy and State Department was vague and often contradictory, forcing him to learn the situation from the press.

`If they can’t get us out of there, at least give us information on how we can get supplies, or how water and food will be provided. However, nothing happened.`

Feelings of frustration grew as communication with the consulate proved difficult.

The woman recounted that she contacted both the consulate and embassy when Wuhan city was locked down.

`After asking if I was an American citizen, embassy staff in Beijing immediately transferred my call to an answering machine, where they said the flight news was incorrect,

The woman then received an email from the embassy saying it was very unlikely that ordinary citizens could get on an evacuation flight, and asked her to provide her personal information.

`Some friends and I are contacting senators and representatives back home, hoping they can influence the State Department to arrange more flights, so that the remaining people can also be repatriated.`

Meanwhile, Japan has flown more than 400 citizens out of Wuhan and is arranging a third evacuation flight.

An unnamed official from the US State Department emphasized that the welfare and safety of US citizens is their highest priority, adding that the embassy in Beijing `is continuing to work with the Chinese government.`

Meanwhile, Perez, his girlfriend and pet dog Chubby are hiding in a two-story house, watching TV every day and `having many other things to do.`

They also occasionally venture to local stores to buy supplies.

`Everything is like something out of a science fiction movie. People wear masks and goggles. They put temperature gauges on each person’s forehead, while you wait in line with people around you all wearing masks,`

Americans are helpless in Wuhan

The streets of Wuhan were deserted on January 25.

Perez, an English teacher from San Francisco, said he has loved living in Wuhan for the past two years despite problems with air pollution and public hygiene, because the salary here is quite good and the cost of living is high.

He said the mood of Chinese people stuck in Wuhan is also not good.

Wuhan authorities are concerned that hospitals and medical staff will be overwhelmed and advise people with mild symptoms to stay home.

`Chinese people here generally feel unsafe when going to hospitals because they are too crowded. They worry that they can spread the virus from other patients if they go there,` Perez said.

Wuhan is urgently building two field hospitals to quarantine thousands of patients.

`If I can ask for anything, I suggest putting politics aside, working with China to get people out. If America can donate supplies to China and North

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