The airport quarrel broke out when one middle-aged woman from Shanghai discovered a number of people sitting opposite to her in the airport lounge talking to each other in the Wuhan dialect, according to a blog written by Chinese journalist Xu Jingbo, citing eyewitnesses.

The woman then saw the Wuhan passengers ‘shoving’ fever-reducing medicine into their mouth and quickly alerted the other Shanghai passengers of the situation, the report said.

A group of Shanghai natives then rushed to the counter and told an airline worker ‘these Wuhan people have fever, and cannot be let onto the plane’, the journalist added.

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