Eye of the Storm (2023) Ending Explained – Does Dr. Xia get infected by the virus?

Eye of the Storm Plot Summary

Based on real events that took occurred in Taiwan in 2003, Eye of the Storm takes place almost entirely within a hospital in Taipei. The movie follows the discovery of the SARS virus outbreak inside the hospital, leading to a complete lockdown. The film follows multiple characters as the situation escalates and they are faced with tough choices.

This includes Dr. Xia who leaves the hospital for his daughter’s birthday but is called back for an emergency surgery in the ER. The other main lead is Tai-he An, a nurse who is looking forward to leaving his job and joining the Doctors Without Borders organization. He’s romantically involved with a doctor named Xin-yan Li, who wants to go along with him to Hong Kong.

There’s also a journalist named You-zhong Jin who’s working on a story about SARS and trying to document everything. Over time, the infected people are quarantined in the B wing of the hospital. As the cases increase, tension grows and some of the staff even begin protesting against treating SARS-infected patients. Desperate to get back to his family, Dr. Xia asks a senior doctor to put him on the list of people who will be extracted.

Meanwhile, the growing paranoia makes staff members suspect Tai-he of having the virus only because he spent some time in B wing right before the outbreak. To keep the peace, Tai-he agrees to leave A wing and move to B wing, even though Xin-yan tries to defend him. Once there, he works hard to treat SARS patients while also trying to keep himself safe from infection.

What happens to the little girl?

In the chaos of the police barricades, a young girl manages to enter the hospital. She’s looking for her mother, who’s the head nurse at the hospital. Unfortunately, the head nurse is already in B wing, infected by the virus.

The taxi driver who bought Dr. Xia to the hospital also ends up trapped inside. He finds the little girl and takes care of her while they are locked inside. When they find out that her mother is in the hospital’s B wing, the girl insists on going there. She goes on her own but the nurses don’t let her in because of the severity of her mother’s condition.  

Now in B wing, Tai-he tries to save the head nurse. But she ends up passing away anyway.

Does Tai-he end up getting infected?

Things in the hospital grow dire and a patient commits suicide. Both Tai-he and Xin-yan are having a hard time. They go to the rooftop of their respective wings and speak to each other on the phone. Tearfully, they agree to go to Hong Kong together and work for Doctors Without Borders.  

But then we see that Tai-he checked his temperature earlier and it was well above 38 degrees. He has a fever, one of the first symptoms of the virus. Of course, he doesn’t say anything to Xin-yan.

Elsewhere, Dr. Xia is told that he’s on the list of people to be extracted. He thanks his supervisor for getting him on the list. But he then overhears an argument amongst doctors, all of whom are refusing to do surgery on a SARS patient, a pregnant woman, in B wing. Dr. Xia changes his mind and decides to do it himself.

He then meets the journalist, You-zhong, and conveys what one of the hospital directors told him — that the original source of the outbreak was a patient’s son who worked at a company called Shiji Engineering. He got the virus from there and passed it on to his father. Both men realise that Shiji Engineering is in charge of the hospital’s plumbing. Dr. Xia tells the senior doctor to check the Linen Department since they may be infected.

Does Dr. Xia get infected by the virus?

Tai-he has now been admitted as a patient and his situation is getting worse.

Dr. Xia goes to B wing and sees a dead body being taken to be cremated. It turns out to be a patient he had worked on in the beginning of the movie who was from the Linen Department and could have carried the virus. He checks his temperature and it shows 37.9 degrees. He calls You-zhong and tells him the patient was from Linen and is now dead. He advises him to keep checking his temperature.

The pregnant woman’s baby is delivered and Dr. Xia begins the operation. At one point, the woman undergoes excessive bleeding and Xia speaks to another doctor on the phone and follows her instructions. When his vision grows blurry, he tells a nurse to remove his protective glasses. It then comes as a shock to everyone as the woman is SARS-positive.

Elsewhere in the building, Tai-he sees the patient in the room across from him collapse. When none of the staff is nearby, he goes across himself to try and save him. He uses CPR to revive the man but afterwards, dissolves into fits of cough himself.

How does Eye of the Storm end?

Finally having all of the information he needs, You-zhong sends off his article about the origin of the outbreak. The little girl manages to send a message to the taxi driver. He’s informed that her mother passed away but the girl herself is safe.

In the concluding scene of the film, Xia calls his daughter. While speaking to her, he sees Tai-he sitting on the floor outside his room. They look at each other and smile. All in all, it’s a relatively open ending and the movie doesn’t confirm either character’s death. They could very much be treated and recover from the virus. But by the tone of the last few minutes of the film, it definitely seems like they’re staring death in the face.

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