CNN  — 

In China, Wuhan used to be known as a city of cherry blossoms, an economic engine of the central heartland, and the birthplace of a century-old revolution that brought down the country’s last imperial dynasty.

But now, the metropolis of approximately 11 million people in Hubei province has become the face of a deadly new coronavirus outbreak – a stigma the people of Wuhan increasingly find themselves unable to shake off.

With the death toll surging past 300 and 14,300 confirmed cases spreading all over China, local authorities across the country have activated the highest public health emergency response, stepping up screening of arrivals from Wuhan.

However, fears over the spread of the outbreak have fueled resentment and discrimination against people from Wuhan. Some have become outcasts in their own country, shunned by hotels, neighbors and – in some areas – placed under controversial quarantine measures.