Wuhan returns to normal as world still battling pandemic

Wuhan returns to normal as world still battling pandemic
Residents practice tai chi at a park in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: A year ago, a notice sent to smartphones in the Chinese city of Wuhan at 2 a.m. announced the world’s first coronavirus lockdown, bringing the busy city to a virtual standstill almost overnight. It would last 76 days.

Early Saturday morning, however, residents of the bustling central Chinese industrial and transport center, where the virus was first detected were jogging and practicing tai chi in a fog-shrouded park beside the mighty Yangtze River.

Life has largely returned to normal in Wuhan, a city of 11 million, even as the rest of the world grapples with the spread of cororonavirus’ more contagious variants. Efforts to vaccinate people for Covid-19 have been frustrated by disarray and limited supplies in some places. The disease has killed more than 2 million people worldwide.

Traffic was light in the city but there was no sign of the barriers that a year ago isolated neighborhoods, prevented movement around the city and confined people to their housing compounds and even apartments.

Wuhan accounted for the bulk of China’s 4,635 deaths from coronavirus, a number that has largely stayed static for months. The central Chinese city has been largely free of further outbreaks since the lockdown was lifted on April 8, but questions persist as to where the Covid-19 originated and whether Wuhan and Chinese authorities acted fast enough and with sufficient transparency to allow the world to prepare for a pandemic that has sickened more than 98 million.

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