The Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged ended its more-than-two-month lockdown on Wednesday, even as a small northern city ordered restrictions on residents amid concern about a second wave of infections, Reuters writes.
China sealed off Wuhan, a central city of 11 million people, on Jan. 23, a drastic step that came to symbolise its aggressive management of the virus.
More than 50,000 people in Wuhan were infected, and more than 2,500 of them died, about 80% of all deaths in China, according to official figures.
The virus has since spread around the world, infecting more than 1.4 million people, killing 82,000 of them and wreaking havoc on the global economy as governments imposed lockdowns to rein in its spread.
While China has managed to curb its coronavirus epidemic the measures to contain it have exacted a heavy economic and social toll, with many residents in recent days expressing relief as well as uncertainty and worry over the lingering danger of infection, Reuters writes.
“I’m going to see my parents,” Wang Wenshu told Reuters as she waited to check in at Wuhan’s Tianhe airport, which reopened on Wednesday. “Of course I miss them. Stop asking me about it or I’m going to cry.”
Wuhan has slowly been returning towards normal, with people officially allowed to enter the city from March 28, although restrictions remain. Residents have been urged not to leave Wuhan or Hubei province, or even their neighbourhood, unless absolutely necessary.
“We are acutely aware that we must not relax as we have not claimed final victory,” Hubei vice governor Cao Guangjin said at a news conference on Wednesday. “We need to remain calm, and be just as cautious at the end as at the beginning.”
Shopping malls and the city’s biggest shopping belt, the Chu River and Han street, reopened on March 30. Long queues, thanks to requirements that customers stand a metre apart, have formed at supermarkets while some residents have taken advantage of the warmer weather to resume outdoor badminton games and dancing.