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PHOTOS: Scenes From The Epicenter Of The Coronavirus Outbreak

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On Feb. 4, beds were installed in the Wuhan Keting Exhibition Center. With 2,000 beds planned, the center will accommodate patients with mild cases of COVID-19.
Stringer for NPR

On Feb. 4, beds were installed in the Wuhan Keting Exhibition Center. With 2,000 beds planned, the center will accommodate patients with mild cases of COVID-19.

Wuhan is a ghost town, yet there are still definite signs of life.

That's the status of this city of 11 million, which has seen strict quarantine measures imposed in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus disease.

As of Feb. 10, every compound, or residential complex, in Wuhan has been put under "closed-off management" orders by the government.

The goal is to keep healthy people from getting infected by going out and about.

Every compound is closed off with gates or other barricades, with only one gate to let people out. Each family in the compound can send one person out to purchase necessities once every three days. That person must register with an official before leaving, explain the purpose of their trip and give the time of departure. The individual's temperature is taken as well.

When people leave the compound, they must wear masks. Because public transportation has been shut down, they drive, take cabs or ride bikes and scooters during the three-hour window for errands.

Anyone showing symptoms that could indicate infection with the coronavirus — fever, for example, cannot leave and will be reported to the local community office as a suspected case.

Delivery services are still operating. Restaurants, convenience stores, florists and supermarkets all will deliver their goods to customers.

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With these extraordinary measures in place, the streets are virtually empty and the mood can be somber. Yet people find ways to carry on, even if it's something as simple as playing a card game. And there's a measure of humor as well — like the masks attached to a city statue of a mother and child.

A prize-winning international photojournalist who lives in Wuhan has captured scenes of life under lockdown. The photographer asked not to be named because of concerns of being targeted by the government.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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