The mass quarantine was ordered in the city at the center of the outbreak, but it’s not clear if the authorities there would be able to provide even basic care.
A senior Chinese official has ordered the authorities in the city of Wuhan to immediately round up all residents who have been infected with the coronavirus and place them in isolation, quarantine or designated hospitals.
Sun Chunlan, a vice premier tasked with leading the central government’s response to the outbreak, said city investigators should go to each home to check the temperatures of every resident and interview infected patients’ close contacts.
“Set up a 24-hour duty system. During these wartime conditions, there must be no deserters, or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever,” Ms. Sun said.
The city’s authorities have raced to meet these instructions by setting up makeshift mass quarantine shelters this week. But concerns are growing about whether the centers, which will house thousands of people in large spaces, will be able to provide even basic care to patients and protect against the risk of further infection.