Life Returns to Normal in Wuhan

By Marie

Life has finally returned to normal in Wuhan, China after several months of combating the coronavirus outbreak.

Wuhan, with a total population of over 11 million, has been under strict lockdown by the central government of China ever since the first wave of COVID-19 breaks out in the city in the last month of 2019. The lockdown in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei was imposed to effectively contain and quarantine the epicenter of the coronavirus disease.

In mid-December 2019, authorities have reported that an unknown disease is spreading from a local seafood market in Wuhan, with people getting infected by pneumonia without any clear causes. Scientists then confirmed that the rising cases of pneumonia are linked to a new strain of coronavirus, giving the initial designation for the disease as 2019 novel coronavirus.

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

Few weeks after the first series of cases in Wuhan, other major cities and provinces in China have also reported that the novel coronavirus had infected a large group of people. Other countries in Asia like Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand have likewise reported the presence of the new disease.

Since the epicenter of the disease is in Wuhan, the government has ultimately decided to impose a lockdown in the city on January 23, 2020. Under the said lockdown, all public transport in the city, which includes buses, railways, flights, and ferry services, was provisionally suspended. All people who are residing and working in Wuhan were not allowed to leave the borders of the city without permission from the government. Traveling restrictions were also enforced in other cities in Hubei in succession.

During the first few months of the lockdown, most businesses were forced to shut down to avoid the risk of getting infected. Schools and most shops are closed, and roads are basically empty. Residents are even forbidden from going out of their homes to buy their essential needs. The only way they can get food and other essentials is to have them delivered. As weeks go by, many hospitals were being flocked by people who want to get tested or treated from the virus.

In March 2020, officials who are assigned to regulate rules and assess the condition of the places under lockdown have affirmed Wuhan as the only remaining “high-risk area” out of all cities in Hubei. Additionally, going in and out of the city were still prohibited. Alternatively, other cities in Hubei were permitted to lift blockades, ease mobility controls, and resume work and production.

Upon the assessment of authorities accompanied by the absence of new COVID-19 cases, the lockdown in Wuhan city was finally lifted on April 8. Conforming to the new normal, most businesses and shops are now open to cater to the needs of the residents and help boost the economy. People can now buy food and go to other places as long as they wear masks or face shields. Some of them have coped with the effects of the lockdown by venturing to new businesses or modifying their existing services.