Daily US Times: People around the world are waiting for the announcement that coronavirus pandemic is under control and they can now return their normal life again. But the Chinese city of Wuhan, from where the pandemic began, is struggling to recover and shows that normal might still be a long way off.
Authorities of Wuhan eased outgoing travel restriction on April 8, ending the city’s 76-day lockdown. But local business and residents soon learned that the actual reopening would be painfully slow.
Despite the lifting of most strict lockdown laws, it is still struggling period to the city as restaurants are restricted to takeaway, many stores are still shut and even when citizens go outside they still wear protective equipment and try to avoid each other.
But official statements do not reflect the situation on the ground. Luo Ping, an epidemic control official in Wuhan said at a press conference on April 8, that some sectors of the city were already back to 100% resumption rate.
On 25 April, in a meeting of the Wuhan government, they promised a “double victory” of success of the epidemic and economic growth, but the actual situation is not like that.
Even government-controlled media has suggested that plans to get the city back to 100% production by the end of April might be “too optimistic.”
Business owners said they are struggling with huge rents and zero profits. Experts said that it might take the city’s economy months to recover, if not longer.
Larry Hu, an economist at Macquarie Capital Limited, said “In the short term, of course, there’s going to be a recovery.”
He said production will recover first then consumption because lot of people are still reluctant to come out of their homes.
”But from a long term perspective, from a three-year perspective the virus is still going to hurt the long term growth of Wuhan,” he said.
Struggling to recover
Wuhan is a metropolis, that has a population of over 11 million, larger than most US cities, and yet it is considered a second-tier size city within mainland China.
The city is the capital of central China’s Hubei Province is both a transportation and manufacturing hub for the rest of the country.
In mid-December last year, the original outbreak was first detected in Wuhan. As the outbreak worsened later, the city sealed its borders from the rest of China on January 23 in an attempt to contain the spread.
Life was halted virtually overnight. People were confined to their homes for several months straight in some parts of the city. They were unable to leave their homes and bound to rely on delivery services for groceries and other basic needs.