A photographer captured how eerily empty Shanghai's normally bustling streets are amid the coronavirus outbreak

Shanghai coronavirus thumb WIDE
Chinese New Year Celebrations in Shanghai before the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in 2014, left, and this year, right.

Nicoco

  • Shanghai-based photographer Nicoco captured eerie images of empty streets and public spaces in the normally bustling metropolis during the Chinese New Year period amid the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The project, known as " 一个人城市 / One Person City," is also viewable on her Instagram.

  • She told Insider: "There is a lot of anxiety in the air. The virus has robbed Chinese people from what should be the happiest time of year."

  • However, Nicoco said she believes Shanghai will come back as the "city of the future."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Shanghai is one of the world's most populated cities, but a series of photos show how its streets have emptied out as the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak — now officially known as COVID-19 — worsens.

While the majority of coronavirus cases have been in Wuhan, at least 311 cases have been confirmed in Shanghai, according to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases map from Johns Hopkins University, which uses data from the WHO and CDC.

Chicago-born, Shanghai-based photographer Nicoco captured eerie images of streets and public spaces in the normally bustling Chinese metropolis as part of a project known as " 一个人城市 / One Person City," which is viewable on her Instagram.

"For the past two weeks, everything has stopped," she told Insider. "There is a lot of anxiety in the air."

Referencing Chinese New Year, she added: "The virus has robbed Chinese people from what should be the happiest time of year."

Shanghai has a population of more than 25 million people, according to the United Nations, and is China's most populous city.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 13
Shanghai coronavirus empty 13

Nicoco

Source: United Nations

Nicoco said Shanghai is normally very busy for Chinese New Year...

Shanghai pre-coronavirus
Shanghai pre-coronavirus

Nicoco

...But it was very empty in the same spot this year due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 21
Shanghai coronavirus empty 21

Nicoco

"What I found through my trips around Shanghai was emptiness filled with fear," she said of capturing her photos, which were taken at different times of day.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 1
Shanghai coronavirus empty 1

Nicoco

Nicoco said only a few shops remain open, and only a few essential workers — like janitorial staff — can be found at their jobs.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 2
Shanghai coronavirus empty 2

Nicoco

"My experience living in Shanghai during the coronavirus outbreak, and seemingly many others, is isolation," she said.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 3
Shanghai coronavirus empty 3

Nicoco

Train travel for the normally busy Chinese New Year declined by about 40% due to the coronavirus, according to CNBC.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 4
Shanghai coronavirus empty 4

Nicoco

Source: CNBC

Nicoco said it's obvious levels of fear are rising in the city, and she compared Shanghai's streets to a "Where's Waldo?"

Shanghai coronavirus empty 5
Shanghai coronavirus empty 5

Nicoco

"It is more than people avoiding areas they think will be crowded, it is people not leaving their homes entirely," she said.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 14
Shanghai coronavirus empty 14

Nicoco

While the majority of coronavirus cases have been in Wuhan, at least 311 cases have been confirmed in Shanghai, according to data from the WHO and CDC.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 6
Shanghai coronavirus empty 6

Nicoco

Source: Johns Hopkins University

Despite being allowed to reopen, Nicoco said many shops and businesses remain closed.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 11
Shanghai coronavirus empty 11

Nicoco

Of the impact on Chinese New Year celebrations. she said: "The virus has robbed Chinese people from what should be the happiest time of year."

Shanghai coronavirus empty 10
Shanghai coronavirus empty 10

Nicoco

Nicoco also said many residents are preparing for what could be months of hardship.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 15
Shanghai coronavirus empty 15

Nicoco

Nicoco said: "The coronavirus is definitely a crisis, but I hope the photos can remind that it's a human crisis."

Shanghai coronavirus empty 7
Shanghai coronavirus empty 7

Nicoco

She believes Shanghai, where she's lived for about six years, will come back, though. "In the 90s, people saw Tokyo as the city of the future. Today, that city is Shanghai," she said.

Shanghai coronavirus empty 19
Shanghai coronavirus empty 19

Nicoco

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