Yang Gonghuan, former deputy director general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, compared the Chinese policy to “fighting a war”.
Wuhan and the wider province of Hubei – home to 11 million in the city and 49 million outside – remains under quarantine.
Chilling accounts have emerged from the city – which now appears to resemble a ghost-town akin to the radiation-bathed Chernobyl.
Completely locked down, rumours are running wild of piles of dead bodies and crematoriums running 24/7.
Gonghuan, one of the top disease control experts in China, said it was the only option before the state.
He explained the state has decided to sacrifice Wuhan in order to protect China and the world from coronavirus.
“If the province was not sealed off, some people would have gone all around the country to try to get medical help, and would have turned the whole nation into an epidemic-stricken area,” he told Bloomberg.
“The quarantine brought a lot of hardship to Hubei and Wuhan, but it was the right thing to do
“It’s like fighting a war – some things are hard, but must be done.”
Makeshift hospitals have been constructed around the Wuhan to cope with the massive number of infected.
Videos appearing to show piles victims and bodies of the dead streets have emerged online.
And as the war on the virus goes on, doctors are reportedly running out of supplies – including testing kits and masks.
One doctor working at the Third People’s Hospital of Hubei Province revealed the chaos in the quarantine.
She said: “We were advised to use masks, gloves and protective clothing in a thrifty manner, and avoid drinking water so we would not have to go to the bathroom, which would require a change of protective clothing.”
“Things are improving, but we are really over-loaded and running diagnostic tests 24-7, and still struggle to complete them. I think we have not reached the peak of infections yet.”
But despite the struggle, she accepted locking down the city was the right thing to do.
“Some may say Hubei was sacrificed, but it did effectively stem the spread to elsewhere,” the doc said.
Reports claim that people are queuing for up to eight hours to get tested for coronavirus.
More than 8,000 medical workers have been drafted in to work in the 27 hospitals fighting the infection.
It is feared the totals are much higher than the death toll of more than 500, and the almost 30,000 infections worldwide.
Professor Zhang Qianfan said: “The lockdown may be necessary to contain the spread of the virus, but you have to ensure there’s enough medical resources to meet the demand for care in those cities.
“The lockdown shouldn’t mean the city gets deserted and people are left to survive or die on their own.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese ambassador to the UK has warned against "rumours and panic" over coronavirus.
It came as concerns were raised that Boris Johnson has not offered a personal message of support to China's leaders.
Speaking to reporters in London, Liu Xiaoming called on the UK Government to support China in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The ambassador said: “It is of hope that governments of all countries, including the UK, should understand and support China's efforts, avoid overreaction, avoid creating panic, and ensure normal co-operation and exchanges between countries."
Earlier, Mr Liu tweeted that the UK should respect the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has warned against travel and trade restrictions on China.
The Foreign Office in the UK has advised Britons in China to leave if they are able to.
Mr Liu's tweet said: "WHO has reiterated that it disapproves of and is even against overreaction to the epidemic, including travel and trade restrictions on China.
"We hope the UK will respect the professional advice of WHO and ensure the normal co-operation and exchanges between China and the UK."