Wuhan unlocked: Residents dash for trains and planes as Chinese city at the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak FINALLY has lockdown lifted after 76 days
- China sealed off Wuhan on January 23 when it was clear Covid-19 started there
- At 00.50am on Wednesday trains carrying people out of the city began running
- More than 50,000 people in Wuhan have been infected and 2,571 have died
- Restrictions in city have dropped off in recent days as new infections have fallen
People living in the Chinese city where coronavirus first emerged were permitted to leave for the first time since it was locked down, despite fears infections could rise if restrictions are eased too quickly.
China sealed off the city of Wuhan on January 23, 2020, when it became apparent the deadly Covid-19 virus had started there.
But at 00.50am on Wednesday, trains carrying people out of the city began running, and major highways also began opening up as China’s lockdown on Wuhan was lifted.
Wuhan has a population of some 11 million people.
A woman wearing a protective face mask and pink overalls stands with her luggage next to the first official train departing from Wuhan
People passing through security at the railway station in Wuhan, a body temperature checking feature is also used
A woman seen here waiting for the train with her luggage as the lockdown is lifted in Wuhan
Of those, more than 50,000 people have been infected with coronavirus and 2,571 have died.
The death toll accounts for around 80% of all fatalities in China, according to official figures.
When the lockdown was lifted the topic quickly began trending on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform.
‘Wuhan lifts lockdown’ and ‘Welcome back Wuhan’ were posted.
Some 55,000 people will leave Wuhan on Wednesday, according to ticket sales reviewed by state broadcaster CCTV.
A person in full protective clothing and eye mask plans their travel using their phone
Passengers seen here with luggage getting ready to board a train after the lockdown was lifted
At the height of the virus, Wuhan’s lockdown saw citizens forced into their homes by authorities.
And transport hubs and streets were desolate except for police patrols and emergency workers.
But restrictions in the city have dropped off in recent days as new infections significantly fell.
For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, mainland China reported no Covid-19-related deaths on Tuesday.
The main concern surrounds cases coming into the country and those who are asymptomatic but could still transfer the virus to others
The city of Wuhan reported just two new infections in the past 14 days.
But Chinese authorities are having to tread a very fine line between granting more freedom of movement to citizens, and guarding against a second wave of infections.
Their main concern surrounds cases coming into the country and those who are asymptomatic but could still transfer the virus to others.
Health officials are still encouraging people in Wuhan to not leave their neighbourhoods, the city, and the province, unless absolutely necessary.
Tall barriers remain in place around housing compounds and people are only permitted to leave if they have a green health code or are carrying documents stipulating a valid reason.
Liu Xiaomin, leaving Wuhan on Wednesday, said she and her family had travelled to the city for the Lunar New Year holiday and became stuck there.
A migrant worker, normally based in Guangdong, reported she was heading back to her hometown of Xiangyang city. ‘I’m very happy, I’m going home today,’ she told Reuters inside Wuhan’s Hankou railway station.
‘My mood will be better but when I get back I still won’t go out too much.’