- The Xinjia Hotel in Quanzhou, China, collapsed around 7:30 p.m. Saturday local time.
- The building was being used to quarantine people who had either tested positive for COVID-19 or had come in contact with those had already been infected.
- An estimated 70 people were trapped when the hotel caved in, but Reuters said at least 38 have since been rescued.
- A woman, who identified herself as Chen, told the Beijing News that her sister was at the hotel. She isn’t answering her phone now, Chen said, adding, “I’m under quarantine too and I’m very worried. I don’t know what to do.”
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A hotel in China that is being utilised to quarantine coronavirus patients collapsed on Saturday, leaving around 70 people trapped beneath the rubble.
The five-story, 80-room Xinjia Hotel is located in Quanzhou, in the southeastern Fujian Province, Reuters reported based on information from the city’s government officials.
It remains unclear what caused the collapse and how many people – who either tested positive for COVID-19 or had come in contact with someone with coronavirus – were quarantined at the hotel, which opened in 2018, the People’s Daily, China reported.
The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. local time. Since then, 38 people have been safely rescued, Quanzhou authorities told Reuters.
The Xinhua News Agency reported that emergency personnel had been sent to the site. Videos from the scene showed people dressed in orange clambering over the fallen structure.
A woman, who identified herself only as Chen, told the Beijing News that her sister was at the Xinjia Hotel. Her quarantine began on Feb. 25 after she returned from Hubei province, where the coronavirus originated late last year, Reuters said.
“I can’t contact them, they’re not answering their phones,” Chen said. “I’m under quarantine too and I’m very worried. I don’t know what to do. They were healthy, they took their temperatures every day, and the tests showed that everything was normal.”
On Saturday evening, the hotel collapse was the top trending topic on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform, with people demanding an investigation into how the building fell down.
Reuters reported that anger is mounting against Chinese authorities who are accused of mishandling the coronavirus outbreak when it was in its early stages, by preventing doctors from speaking out and misrepresenting the number of COVID-19 cases.
As of Friday, the Fujian provincial government reported 296 cases of coronavirus, Reuters said, adding that 10,819 people had been placed under observation.
The coronavirus outbreak has infected more than 101,000 people worldwide – more than 80,000 of them are in China – and killed around 3,300, according to experts from Johns Hopkins University.
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