As Wuhan residents waited in long lines at hospitals to be checked for possible coronavirus infections, some residents complained they were not able to get the treatment they needed.
Xiao Shibing, 90, has had a fever for days and difficulty breathing. When he went to a hospital, his family was told there were not enough kits to test for the newly discovered virus, said his daughter, Xiao Hongxia. He was told he had a viral chest infection and sent home.
Mr. Xiao’s family has continued to seek treatment, visiting other hospitals but being turned away by at least three because of a shortage of beds, said his wife, Feng Xiu. “It is like kicking a ball from here to there,” she said.
Cai Pei, , said his wife began coughing and developed a fever three days ago. He wrote on Weibo that hospitals would not admit her, and he had difficulty finding masks and cold medicine in local pharmacies.
They still do not know if she is infected with the new coronavirus or some more common ailment.
“Sometimes I can only hide and cry, but I couldn’t tell her and had to reassure her that it is not the virus,” Mr. Cai said by phone. “It is very scary. If it’s real, we have a kid and elderly parents at home. What if we all get sick? ”
Hospitals and medical workers at the center of the outbreak made urgent appeals for supplies, as stocks of surgical masks and other equipment quickly flew off shelves.
“Shortage of medical supplies, request help !!!” the Wuhan Children’s Hospital said Thursday in a post on (Weibo) , a Chinese social network.
The hospital asked for donations of surgical masks, disposable garments, protective goggles and gloves.
Several other hospitals, including the Hubei General Hospital, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and the Central Hospital of Wuhan posted similar notices.
The central government on Thursday acknowledged the severe strain on re sources, and the Ministry of Finance announced an urgent allocation of one billion renminbi, about $ million, for epidemic prevention and control work.
State news media also carried reports of people volunteering to help ease the strain on health workers.