China’s Hubei province said it will allow transportation to resume for the city of Wuhan on April 8, effectively lifting a mass quarantine over the city where the coronavirus first emerged in the province since last December.
People in Wuhan will be allowed to leave the city and Hubei province, according to a statement on china government’s website on Tuesday.
The easing of restrictions comes as Hubei reported that new infections dropped to zero on Mar 19, a dramatic plunge from the height of an epidemic that’s infected more than 80,000 Chinese and killed over 3,200.
However, now the virus is accelerating its spread globally and Europe reporting more cases than China, the world’s second-largest economy will definitely struggle to resume its full activity.
China on Jan 23 took unprecedented steps to lockdown Wuhan and surrounding regions, effectively restricting the movements of 60 million people in Hubei province as infections was out of control.
The measures stopped air and rail travel and restricted those who could leave by car, while harsher measures banned large gatherings and sought to keep residents in their homes. Some critics saw the quarantine as a heavy-handed approach following earlier failures to act quickly enough to stem the spread.
As the virus spread globally, other countries including Italy, the Philippines and India have begun nationwide lockdowns. However, Lockdown seems like the best approach so far to contain the virus.
Chinese officials have been moving to ease the quarantine in steps as new cases dropped toward zero from a peak of 15,000 a month ago. Hubei last week started allowing some residents in lower-risk areas to leave the province for work. According to local media reports, people have to get a “green code” certification proving they are in good health in order to leave.
China’s economy has been hammered by the outbreak and the aggressive containment measures. Troubled companies like HNA Group Co. have required state rescue while China is loosening financing rules liberally to keep its millions of small businesses alive through the crisis.
Source : Bloomberg