The shunned: People from virus-hit city tracked, quarantined

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Meron Mei, a sophomore at Wuhan University in the Chinese city at the heart of a viral outbreak, went back to his home village and started to cough. So he went to the hospital and got checked. Doctors determined it was a common cold, not the new coronavirus, he says, and he returned home. Then a week ago, he says, five officers showed up at his house in Xishui County, a two hour drive from Wuhan. They wore masks and wielded blue, gun-shaped thermometers. Now Mei finds himself under constant surveillance by plainclothes police. His doorstep has been posted with a red warning: “Do not approach – patient with suspected pneumonia.” Doctors in gowns, goggles and masks check his temperature three times a day, and the government calls him constantly to monitor his condition — despite tests that he says show his body is free of the coronavirus. His phone is constantly checked; its camera has been disabled and his photos deleted. He relayed his story to The Associated Press via messages in English to prevent officers from reading them.

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