Hubei residents swarm trains as coronavirus lockdown is LIFTED at last (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Wednesday - 25/03/2020 09:31
The weary residents of China’s Hubei province finally have cause for celebration, as restrictions introduced to curb Covid-19 have been lifted amid a drop in infections. People have begun flocking to reunite with loved ones.
Photos and videos from the beleaguered province, one-time epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, show huge crowds clamoring to board trains and buses in a rush to visit friends and family after weeks in quarantine and isolation.
The novel coronavirus outbreak was first reported in Wuhan late last year, but it has now spread across the world. Europe is now considered by many to be the epicenter, though World Health Organization experts fear it will shift to the US, which has reported skyrocketing infection rates.
Wednesday marked the first chance for many to travel after two months of severe lockdown; restrictions on travel and on normal daily routines have been lifted for those with a ‘green’ health code issued by authorities, indicating they are virus-free.
People thronged the railway station in the city of Macheng as announcements for trains headed to cities across China rang out on the tannoys.
Railway stations and airports began opening on Wednesday, though Wuhan remains accessible only by road for the time being. Exiled Hubei natives also took the opportunity to finally return home and reunite with family after Beijing ordered the province to shut down in January.
Schools remain closed for the time being, but people have been allowed to return to work.
Meanwhile, other provinces in China have further downgraded their emergency response to the outbreak, including Sichuan and Heilongjiang. No new domestically transmitted cases of coronavirus were reported in China on Tuesday, with officials saying the 47 newly confirmed cases were imported.
Some 21,046 medical personnel from across China had left the province as of Tuesday, while 16,558 medical staff remain behind in Wuhan – the hardest-hit city in China – to continue with the relief efforts there.
According to the John Hopkins coronavirus database, China has had 81,661 cases of coronavirus infection, resulting in 3,285 deaths.