Zhang Luhua’s ordeal began at the end of last week, when the 57-year-old resident of Wuhan started having trouble breathing. She went to Hubei Provincial People’s Hospital, one of the best in the city, where a doctor told her she might have a new virus that was starting to cause global alarm, but he could not actually test her. 

Over the course of the next week, she was turned away by four other hospitals in the city before a doctor at Xinhua Hospital told her that she probably had the virus and should go home and “self-quarantine”.

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