76 days after being put on lockdown due to the spread of the coronavirus, residents of Wuhan, China are once again allowed to leave the city. Chinese government officials ended the lockdown at midnight on Wednesday, April 8, restarting train services, flights, and opening up highways.
The city’s 11 million residents are now permitted to leave Wuhan without special authorization given they’ve not shown coronavirus symptoms and have not been in recent contact with anyone confirmed to have the virus. The government is using a widely-used smartphone health app to confirm the health status of each person leaving the city.
— TIME (@TIME) April 7, 2020
Despite the end of lockdown, Wuhan still has a long way to go before its residents see the return of normal life. Even as business are starting to reopen, many face a difficult road ahead. And although Wuhan’s public transport has been restarted, subways and busses are seeing few passengers. People are still being urged to stay home as much as possible and schools remain closed.
China reported no new deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday and the country’s number of cases has been dwindling since March.
However, with the ease of travel restrictions, China faces a potential second wave of coronavirus infections. Of the 39 new coronavirus cases reported on Sunday, 38 were imported from outside the country’s borders. There’s a chance that returning citizens (over a million Chinese students are currently overseas, unable to come back) or other travelers bring the coronavirus with them from other global hotspots.
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