China Ends Wuhan Lockdown

China has ended its quarantine of Wuhan, the original epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, as the region, re-emerges from a deadly outbreak currently raging across the world.

by Hari Aditya

Updated: Apr 08, 2020 14:05 IST

Tags: World Corona
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Unleashing the Wuhan

China's quarantine of Wuhan, the initial epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, has ended as the city re-emerges from a deadly outbreak that is still raging across the globe. 

But even as Wuhan reopens its borders after 76 days, some city-wide restrictions will remain in place, and officials warn that the threat of additional infections is far from over. The 11 million metropolis, where the coronavirus was first identified in December, has been cut off from the outside world in an unparalleled attempt to control the disease after 23 January. 

Healthy people and tourists would eventually be able to exit Wuhan, the capital of the province of Hubei, on Wednesday, with trains and flights restored and highway entrances reopened. According to state broadcaster CCTV, Wuhan's railway authority estimated more than 55,000 passengers will be leaving Wuhan by a train Wednesday, with about 40 percent bound for the Pearl River Delta region, China's major manufacturing hub.

Wuhan's easing of travel restrictions is the latest milestone in China's battle against Covid-19. Nearly zero new local infections have been recorded by the country in recent weeks, contributing to similar restrictive measures being relaxed late last month for other areas of Hubei province.

Luo Ping, an epidemic control official in Wuhan, told CCTV Sunday that the lifting of the lockdown marks a "full restart" of the city's economic and social activities from their previous "suspension." But he warned the city faces an arduous task preventing imported cases "After work and production resumed, the movement of people increased and so did the risk of cross-infections from mass gatherings. Some residents have dropped their guard and don't wear masks when they go on the streets," he told the broadcaster. "The reopening of Wuhan does not mean the all-clear, neither does it mean a relaxing of epidemic prevention and control measures (within the city)," he said.

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