Chilling footage emerges of China's deserted streets in coronavirus epicenter

The city where the novel coronavirus originated has been captured in on-the-ground footage.

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
2 min read

A resident of Wuhan, currently under lockdown due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Lan Bo

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 75,000 people and claimed over 2,000 lives. Originating in Wuhan, China, the respiratory disease led to a lockdown of the city in an attempt to contain its spread. A month later, on-the-ground footage of Wuhan has emerged, revealing a close-hand look at a city seemingly all but abandoned by its population of 14 million.

The haunting footage comes from a Chinese film crew that was forced to pause production while stranded in the city.

"My fellow crew members are in Wuhan and wanted to do something meaningful," director Lan Bo told Sixth Tone. "They want to record what happened. First, since the lockdown, there hasn't been a video presenting such a panoramic view [of the city]. And second, I feel that these are going to be valuable images for historical reference and for other documentaries."

The short film, titled Wuhan: The Long Night, is a montage cut together from cell phone footage captured by the film's crew. It has reportedly amassed millions of views on Chinese Twitter equivalent Weibo, spurring ideas for a possible full-length documentary from Lan.

Elsewhere in the country, the latest James Bond movie, No Time To Die, saw its premiere in Beijing canceled due to the novel coronavirus. The movie is set to arrive in US theaters April 10. Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest phone show that had been scheduled to take place this week, was also scrapped following the withdrawals of a large number of participants over fears of the spread of the coronavirus.

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