An Eastern Chinese hotel which was used to quarantine coronavirus suspects had collapsed resulting in the death of four, international media reported on March 8 citing Ministry of Emergency Management. The incident reportedly happened at 19:30 local time on March 7 in Quanzhou. According to the ministry, the rescuers have retrieved 38 survivors from the rubble, with five in critical condition out of the 71 which were initially trapped.
According to reports, Quanzhou had recorded 47 cases of COVID-19 and the hotel had been repurposed to house people who had been in contact with confirmed cases. According to a Chinese news agency, the building’s first floor had been under renovation since the lunar new year. The agency also revealed that minutes before the collapse, workers called the hotel’s owner to report a deformed pillar. Following the collapse, the building’s owner had reportedly been summoned by police.
Dramatic footage showing the building collapse in seconds has surfaced on the internet. Another footage which had gone viral on Chinese social media platform Weibo shows rescue workers searching the ruins of the Xinjia hotel in the dark as they carried the wounded to ambulances.
The new coronavirus also known as COVID-19 has claimed more than 3,500 lives across the globe and has infected over 1,00,000 people around the world since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were being traded illegally. As per reports, over 3,000 people have lost their lives in China alone and there are currently 22,000 active cases in the country.
According to reports, at least 500 people have died outside mainland China, which makes it the worst disease outbreak of the 21st century. Italy, Iran and South Korea are the most affected countries outside China, where 233, 145 and 4 people have died respectively as of March 6. As per the United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC), a vaccine to battle the virus could take a year to develop.