China Southern Airlines passengers refused to board a flight when they realised Wuhan residents would be flying with them. The flight from Japan to China was delayed when around 70 passengers needed to be convinced to board the flight. The hostility stemmed from fears that the passengers from Wuhan might have been infected by the deadly coronavirus.
The flight from Nagoya to Shanghai was disrupted when some passengers, identified as residents of Wuhan, were confronted by other passengers. After recognising their accents, the other passengers turned hostile, in an effort to prevent them from boarding the flight.
Reportedly, 70 passengers who live in Shanghai tried to prevent the 16 passengers from Wuhan to board the flight. After a five hour delay, the airline was able to finally convince the protesting passengers. The travellers from Wuhan were finally able to board the flight and fly to Shanghai.
The Chinese government put the city of Wuhan under quarantine before the Chinese New Year. However, many residents of Wuhan remain locked out of the city. The passengers who were being disallowed from boarding the flight were heading to China even though they would not be able to enter Wuhan in the coming days.
Since the coronavirus spreads even before an infected patient starts showing symptoms, there is mass panic in the country. The passengers from Wuhan might have left the city before lockdown and they might be infected by the virus. Based on this fear, the Shanghai residents turned on their fellow passengers.
By January 28, more than 100 people have died after being infected by the virus. It is estimated that more than 4,500 people around the world have been infected by it as well. The Sun pointed out that the United States, as well as Chinese public health officials, believe that there are thousands of unreported cases as well.
The virus which is thought to have originated from snake meat has no vaccines yet. While scientists race to develop a vaccine for the virus, the body count continues to rise.