Upon waking up, the doctor's wife realizes that she has forgotten to wind her watch. The gravity of their situation finally hits her and she breaks down. The girl with the dark glasses comes to comfort the doctor and his wife. Representatives from each ward meet and decide to divvy up the food according to the number of internees in each ward.
When the food arrives, confusion ensues, because the blind internees advance only haltingly, scared as they are to be shot. The soldiers, for their part, are also scared to approach the blind because they are scared of infection. One of the blind men loses his way and barely escapes being shot by the guards. In the midst of the celebration of his safe arrival back at the compound, someone steals a few containers of food.
The internees mount an attempt to find the thieves, but it proves to be difficult. Soon enough, a total of 250 more internees arrive. This great number means that all the wards will need to be opened up, including those wards reserved for those people who have not yet gone blind. The new internees are crammed into the compound and they invade every open space. Several people are injured because of trampling. The contaminated, but not blind, internees attempt to keep the blind out but are unable.
After a long period of confusion and disarray, everyone settles down, even though there are not enough beds. After everyone has found a bed an old man in a black eye patch stumbles into the first ward and takes the bed that the car thief vacated.
In the novel, human nature is shown to be self-serving and vile, with few but shining exceptions. Many of the minute issues that occurred between the internees in the first days come to a head in this part due to the great influx of people.
First, the open theft of the food exemplifies the triumph of self-serving human nature over whatever little solidarity the internees had. The theft is committed because the thieves have no regard for the good of the quarantine as a whole and because they know that they cannot be held responsible for their actions. This disorder and the dissatisfaction it causes will result eventually in the regime of the man with the gun. Secondly, the government shows that it is merely an amplification of these tendencies of human nature. This is show by its cynical disregard for those that are quarantined but not yet infected. It also shows that the government has completely given up hope of some of those people surviving uninfected.