Wuhan emerges from the shadow of COVID-19

By Cui Jia and Liu Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-03 07:21
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Students take a class at a primary school in Wuhan in February. [ZHAO JUN/FOR CHINA DAILY]

"The epidemic drew global attention to Wuhan and its people. Without the full cooperation of the Wuhan people, I think the first round of the outbreak would have lasted much longer," Zhao said.

Xiao Bang, a local resident, said that he was deeply worried in 2020 when he heard that the epidemic had plunged the city into "a state of war".

"Wuhan people fully complied with the epidemic control measures, which were all new to us. At that time, every person was a soldier in the war to contain the epidemic. We fought hard. Even by staying home, we bought valuable time for those measures to take effect," Xiao said.

During the lockdown, many Wuhan people became volunteers in their communities, delivering daily necessities to residents or driving medical professionals to work. Xiao volunteered to guard the entrance to a community in central Wuhan near Huanghelou, or the Yellow Crane Tower, a famous landmark.

"Barely a car or pedestrian passed by Pengliuyang road in front of the entrance, which was always busy and noisy. I had never seen anything like it," he recalled.

On a Saturday afternoon in late February, Xiao returned to the community. Heavy traffic meant it took him quite a while to find a parking space and cross Pengliuyang road.

"To be honest, Wuhan people are happy to see traffic jams now, because they show that the city has regained its vitality and glamour," he said.

As time goes by, the strains of COVID-19 have become increasingly contagious, more capable of developing immunity to treatment, but at the same time less deadly. On Jan 8, China downgraded its management of COVID-19 from a class A to a class B disease.

On Feb 23, the health authorities said the country's COVID-19 epidemic had "basically" ended. "The news was particularly significant for Wuhan people, who fought the toughest battle in the epidemic and won," said Zhao, from Wuhan Hankou Hospital.

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