Amid growing adversity and a lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak, residents in Wuhan of China are chanting ‘Jiayou’, which roughly translated means fuel or oil but is rarely ever used in that context.
Rather it is a slogan of encouragement and resilience for Wuhan residents who are intoning ‘Jiayou’ from their rooftops, verandahs and windows, according to a video shared by China Xinhua News and New China TV.
Jiayou is essentially an all-purpose Chinese cheer, “加油!” (jiayou!) which has been used during the Olympic games as well and has run the risk of being lost in translation.
In case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, which has claimed 106 lives so far, the term is an act of resilience and encouragement asking Wuhan residents to hold their fort and fight the adversity.
The deadly virus, which experts believe emanated from a wild animal market in the city of Wuhan last month, has triggered a desperate Chinese containment effort after spreading nationwide and to more than a dozen other countries.
The government has sealed off Wuhan and other cities in central Hubei province, effectively trapping more than 50 million people, including thousands of foreigners, in a bid to contain the virus as the high-travel Lunar New Year holiday unfolds.