Several pictures and videos show residents singing from apartments and shouting phrases to encourage each other
Even as the city of Wuhan in China remains locked down to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, videos of residents of the city singing and encouraging each other from their homes have gone viral.
Associated Press reported how residents of some high-rise apartment buildings in Wuhan came together from their balconies and windows to sing the national anthem and other songs.
The anthem’s refrain, “Qilai, qilai, qilai!” or “Rise up, rise up, rise up!” echoed between the towers of skyscrapers in the city of 11 million, where streets have grown eerily quiet as families try to avoid contact with others who may be infected, the report said.
Others shouted “Wuhan, fight!” echoing the chants heard from protesters in Hong Kong.
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The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the virus that has spread to more than a dozen countries as a global emergency, even as the number of cases spiked more than tenfold in a week.
China raised the death toll to 170 on Thursday and more countries reported infections, including some spread locally, as foreign evacuees from China's worst-hit region returned home to medical tests and even isolation.
Russia announced it was closing its 2,600-mile border with China, joining Mongolia and North Korea in barring crossings to guard against a new viral outbreak.
The first case of the virus in India was confirmed in Kerala on Thursday after a student who returned from Wuhan tested positive for the virus. The student is presently admitted to the isolation ward in Thrissur's district hospital and is being closely monitored, state Health Minister KK Shyalaja teacher said Thursday. Her condition is said to be stable.
Around 400 Indians will be evacuated Friday from Wuhan on an Air India flight that will take off from New Delhi at 12 pm IST and will return by 2 am on Saturday. Further arrangements will be made by the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Health, said Air India CMD Aswani Lohani.
On Thursday, the Indian embassy in Beijing had alerted Indian nationals in Wuhan that it was tentatively preparing for evacuation on Friday evening.
“This flight will carry those Indian nationals who are in and around Wuhan and have conveyed consent for their evacuation. There will be another flight subsequently which will carry those who are from other parts of Hubei Province,” the Indian embassy said in a message to the Indian community.
(With inputs from Reuters, AP)