3 years after the start of the Corona epidemic, Wuhan has returned to normal life

Three years after imposing a strict quarantine in Wuhan, from which the Covid-19 epidemic broke out, life has returned to normal in the central Chinese city. Wuhan, with a population of 11 million, has begun to record late of 2019 infected with an unknown number of viruses at the time, which prompted a surge in pneumonia cases.

On January 23, 2020, the authorities ordered the imposition of a strict quarantine in Wuhan to stop the spread of the epidemic, before it spread in around the world, claiming millions of lives and causing the collapse of the global economy.

However, life has now returned to normal in most countries. After three years of lockdowns, mandatory quarantines and infection-tracking campaigns, China almost completely lifted its imposed health restrictions in December.

Wuhan on Monday shows no indication of the atmosphere of the catastrophe that was imminent in 2020. Despite the extreme cold, some residents are taking advantage of the Lunar New Year holiday to hit markets or take a walk on the banks of the Yangtze River, while retirees do some ‘ of exercise and the kites are flying in the sky in the slightly cloudy weather.

“The coming new year will definitely be better. We are no longer afraid of the virus,” Yan Dongguo, a cleaner in her 60s, told AFP.

– ‘House of Hope’ – Nearby, a young man delivering takeout on a small motorbike has a similar view.

“Everyone has regained a normal life. People meet their families and friends, go out to have fun or travel…they smile back,” Liang Feisheng told AFP.

“The worries and fears we had have subsided,” he added, wearing goggles and a muzzle to protect himself from the extreme cold.

In January 2020, Wuhan residents were taken aback by the quarantine, announced in the middle of the night and enforced a few hours later.

Meanwhile, the whole world watched in amazement and fear in television the beginning of a health crisis that would turn in a global pandemic.

Wuhan found itself completely cut off from the world over a period of 76 days, with train stations and airports closed, roads blocked, transportation disrupted and shops closed, while residents stayed in their homes and patients flocked to hospitals.

However, the chaos of January 2020 is a distant memory.

And the building where Agence France-Presse took a shop front at the beginning of the epidemic has become the image of a dead man lying on the sidewalk, housing a new school called the “House of Hope”, as if it were a sign of destiny.

And the Huanan fish market, long suspected of being the epicenter of the outbreaks, has been permanently closed since 2020.

Broad blue barriers still surround the desert complex, and in front is aauto of the parked police, seen from Agence France-Presse.

And after China has long been considered an oasis of health security for via of the extremely severe measures it has taken against the virus, the country has been facing the largest new outbreak of infections for several weeks.

Epidemiologist Wu Zunyun, considered a symbol of the fight against the virus in his country, estimated that about 80% of Chinese people have contracted Covid since the lifting of health measures in December.

On Saturday, China reported 13,000 COVID-19-related deaths in hospitals between January 13 and 19.

This number is limited to deaths reported in hospitals, in addition to the approximately 60,000 previously announced by authorities for the period between 8 December 2022 and 12 January 2023.

This is certainly an underestimate for a country of 1.4 billion people, in one moment in which many hospitals and crematoria are still overwhelmed.