Friday, 19. September 2014
20. 08. 14. - 16:00
Chinese passengers on an underground line fled in terror fearing an Ebola outbreak when an obviously foreign looking man suddenly collapsed onto the floor.
Video footage shows how other passengers on the Shanghai Metro had cleared the end of the train where the Western looking man had fallen onto the floor, and when the doors opened the entire carriage cleared within seconds.
The video footage shows how the man is sitting next to a middle-aged female passenger when he slowly topples to one side, causing her to move speedily out of the way as he falls onto the seat.
After lying there for a few seconds, he toppled onto the ground unconscious, just as the train is breaking for the next station. And instead of bending to help him the passengers, fearing he might have suffered from the deadly disease, fled to the other end of the carriage and then ran off when the train stopped.
In the panic to get away, CCTV footage from outside of the carriage shows how one middle-aged woman hit the doors and a middle-aged man falls to the floor and struggles to get back up as people exit the carriages.
A ticket collector at the Shanghai underground told local media that passengers had alerted staff on their way out, saying that a foreigner that may have a disease had collapsed on the carriage and that they were worried it was Ebola. But there was no official statement from the underground officials about what had happened to the man.
Chinese public transport passengers are already on heightened awareness anyway after a spate of arson attacks and knife attacks that has seen increased security, and recent publicity over the Ebola virus has raised fears even more.
China has responded forcefully to the Ebola outbreak in Africa, a continent where it has made sizable investments and actively fostered diplomatic relations. Starting in May, it began sending protective clothes, disinfectants, thermal detectors, medicines and, more recently, the government kicked off a two-year aid mission that includes its first-ever dispatch overseas of emergency medical experts.
At home, China has for several days screened travellers from West African nations. Photos in China's state press showed Nigerians wearing protective clothing during checks in airport clinics, which officials indicate have upset some incoming visitors.
They have already warned that countries affected by the latest outbreak will not be allowed to send athletes to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
China also said that from Saturday new border controls will include stricter inspections on inbound airlines from regions affected by Ebola, while stepped-up sanitary measures will apply to incoming vehicles and goods. The government also warned its citizens about the risks of travel to affected regions.
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