Moviegoers wear masks as they watch the film “Days and Nights in Wuhan” on January 23, 2021 at a cineplex in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
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A year ago, a message on smartphones in Wuhan at 2 a.m. announced the world’s first coronavirus lockdown, effectively disrupting central China’s busy industrial and transportation hub almost overnight. It would take 76 days.
Early on Saturday morning, residents of the city where the virus was first discovered jogged and practiced tai chi in a mist-shrouded park next to the mighty Yangtze.
In the city of 11 million people, life has largely returned to normal, although the rest of the world is grappling with the spread of the contagious variants of the virus. Efforts to vaccinate people against Covid-19 have been thwarted in some places by clutter and limited supplies. The Scourge killed more than 2 million people worldwide.
There was little traffic in Wuhan, but there was no sign of the barriers that isolated neighborhoods, prevented movement in the city, and restricted people to their apartment complexes and even apartments a year ago.
People listen to a band during an indoor concert in Wuhan, China’s central Hubei Province on January 1, 2021.
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Wuhan was responsible for the majority of the 4,635 deaths in China from Covid-19, a number that has remained largely unchanged for months. The city has been largely free of further outbreaks since the lockdown was lifted on April 8. However, questions remain as to where the virus came from and whether the authorities of Wuhan and China have acted quickly enough and with sufficient transparency for the world to prepare for a pandemic which has sickened more than 98 million.
Wuhan has been commended for its sacrifice in the service of the nation and turned into something of a Stalingrad in the Chinese war on the virus mentioned in books, documentaries, TV shows and florid panegyric by officials such as the head of state and the leader of Communist Party Xi Jinping.
“We think Wuhan is a heroic city. After all, it stopped its economy to help China cope with the pandemic. This is a noble deed,” said 24-year-old Chen Jiali, who works at an internet shopping company.
China announced another 107 cases on Saturday, bringing its total since the pandemic started to 88,911. Of these, most of them were in the northern province of Heilongjiang (56). Beijing and Shanghai’s Eastern Financial Center reported three new cases of mass tests and hospital and residential unit closures related to recent outbreaks.
Authorities are aware of the potential for a new surge related to the New Year holidays next month and urge people not to travel and avoid gatherings as much as possible. Schools are leaving a week early and many have already moved on to online classes. Wearing masks remains practically universal indoors and in public transport. Cell phone apps are used to track people’s movements and prove that they are both virus-free and have not been in areas where suspected cases have been found.
Since the end of the lockdown, Wuhan has largely been spared further outbreaks, something local residents like chemistry teacher Yao Dongyu attribute to heightened awareness resulting from last year’s traumatic experiences.
Residents wear face masks while sleeping at the mall in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on Jan. 23, 2021. The Covid-19 breaks out in Wuhan with a population of 10 million.
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“At the time, people were very nervous, but the government was very supportive. It was a very strong guarantee, so we got through it together,” said Yao, 24. “Since the Wuhan people went through the pandemic she made it. ” done better in personal precautions than people in other regions. “
China has doggedly defended its actions in the early days of the outbreak, saying it helped buy time for the rest of the world while advancing fringe theories that the virus was brought into the city from outside China, possibly by a laboratory in the USA.
After months of negotiations, last week China finally gave the World Health Organization permission to send a team of international experts to begin investigating the origin of the virus. You are currently in two weeks of quarantine.
A group of experts commissioned by the WHO criticized China and other countries this week for not wanting to contain the first outbreak sooner, and urged Beijing to admit it could have been better.
In Hong Kong, southern China, thousands of residents were jailed on Saturday in an unprecedented move to contain a worsening outbreak in the city.
Hong Kong has been grappling with a new wave of the coronavirus since November. More than 4,300 cases have been recorded in the past two months, accounting for nearly 40% of the city’s total.
Authorities said in a statement that a working class area of 16 buildings in Yau Tsim Mong district will be closed until all residents are tested.