The Chinese government has on Wednesday ended the 11 weeks lockdown of Wuhan, the first epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic which has thrown daily life into upheaval across the planet.
The city where the coronavirus was first detected in December, had been sealed off from the outside world since January 23 in an unprecedented effort to contain the outbreak. Over 50,000 people in Wuhan caught the virus, and more than 2,500 of them died, about 80% of all deaths in China, according to official figures.
After 70 days of lockdown, Restrictions have eased after the capital of Hubei province saw just three new confirmed cases in the past 21 days and only two new infections in the past fortnight. Finally, the last restrictions on movement were lifted Wednesday in Wuhan.
The decision to lift the ban albeit with travellers required to meet certain conditions came despite fears of a second wave of infection if restrictions were eased too soon. Within hours of the lifting of the ban, roughly 65,000 people had left the city by train and plane only.
Wuhan’s lockdown has become a model for countries trying to stop the spread of the virus. The city’s 11 million residents are now free to go out without restrictions But even as Wuhan reopens its borders, some restrictions within the city will remain in place, and officials warn that the threat of further infections remains far from over.