Wuhan finally feels free after China lifts the 76-day lockdown, allowing people to leave the city, but some restrictions remain as risk still prevails. By Tanvi Jain

 

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Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly COVID-19 outbreak, that has been under lockdown since January 23, has now been freed from restrictions barring a few. Thcapital of China’s Hubei province, where coronavirus was first detected in December last year, has now emerged from the outbreak after being sealed off from the rest of the world for the past 76 days. 

All the healthy residents and visitors of Wuhan are now allowed to leave the city, as trains and flights have been resumed and the highway has been re-opened. This huge step by China has been taken in other parts of the country as well, after recording nearly zero cases in recent weeks – three cases in Wuhan within three weeks and no new deaths in the country since January. The move is further expected to restart the country’s economic and social activities. 

 

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However, experts have warned that the risk of infection is still not over, as the increasing movement and gatherings might lead to cross infections. Therefore, despite allowing its people to return to work, as a mass experimentChina has made it mandatory for all its citizens to install an app on their smartphones, which will indicate if a person can be allowed at public places or needs to be quarantined instead. The QR based health code system by the app known as Alipay, belongs to Ant Financial – a sister company of e-commerce giant Alibaba, and informs about the health status via colour codes — green, yellow or red. 

 

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Furthermore, a video of the first vehicle leaving from Wuhan on April 8, also recently went viral on social media. As per reports, around 65,000 people left the city via flight and train, within just a few hours of the lifting of lockdown. China has so far recorded at least 3,333 deaths and as many as 81,802 total cases of coronavirus. 

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