Daily US Times: After months of fear and anxiety, the Chinese city of Wuhan os slowly returning to something that might be called as normal. Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus, was the first city in the world to go into lockdown.
The city was under lockdown for 76 days. The scars of the coronavirus impact lie just beneath the surface, with many citizens worried about a second outbreak and businesses still struggling to get back on track.
In mid-December last year, the first known cases related to the virus were detected in Wuhan. In the weeks that followed, cases spiked in the city and from January 23 to April 8, residents of the city were unable to leave the city as the Chinese government attempted to contain the outbreak.
It seems the virus is largely under control in Wuhan while no new cases or deaths reported in Hubei province as of the latest figures released Wednesday. But it has spread across the globe and infected 2.6 million people.
Streets in the city were cordoned off behind police checkpoints are now open to traffic, but some public spaces are preparing to allow people back inside.
But that doesn’t mean people are not concern. Walking down the street, almost everyone continues to practice social distancing.
Many stores, including major chains such as Starbucks, have moved their services and goods out onto sidewalks so that people do not need to enter the crowd inside.
A local business owner, who reopen his store in April, said: “The situation now is not very optimistic. Even after businesses reopened, there are not many people. I’m a bit worried about this.”
Hubei province has reported 68,128 cases of coronavirus so far, of which 4,512 people have died.
Wuhan is one of China’s largest transport and industrial hubs and has long been considered the economic engine of the country’s central heartland.
The city went into lockdown on January 23, closing all transport links.
The restrictions became more strict later while the city authorities eventually banned citizens from making any non-essential trips out of their apartments.
Checkpoints were set up across the city to strictly implement the lockdown.
Some of these conditions are now familiar to millions of people across the globe who have since been requested or ordered, to stay at home to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
But the strict measures are now slowly being withdrawn. People are returning to public places, some stores are now open and Wuhan residents taking to the city’s parks to go for walks, play badminton and even get haircuts courtesy of outdoor barbers.