The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the new coronavirus emerged ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday.
China sealed off Wuhan, a central city of 11 million people, on Jan. 23, a drastic step that came to symbolize its aggressive management of the virus.
More than 50,000 people in Wuhan were infected, and more than 2,500 of them died, about 80% of all deaths in China, according to official figures.
The virus has since spread around the world, infecting more than 1.4 million people, killing 82,000 of them and wreaking havoc on the global economy as governments imposed lock-downs to rein in its spread.
While China has managed to curb its coronavirus epidemic the measures to contain it have exacted a heavy economic and social toll, with many residents in recent days expressing relief as well as uncertainty and worry over the lingering danger of infection.
Wuhan has slowly been returning towards normal, with people officially allowed to enter the city from March 28, although restrictions remain. Residents have been urged not to leave Wuhan or Hubei province, or even their neighborhoods, unless when absolutely necessary.
We are acutely aware that we must not relax as we have not claimed final victory.
We need to remain calm, and be just as cautious at the end as at the beginning.Cao Guangjin, Hubei vice governor, said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Shopping malls and the city’s biggest shopping belt, the Chu River and Han street, reopened on March 30.
Long queues, thanks to requirements that customers stand a meter apart, have formed at supermarkets while some residents have taken advantage of the warmer weather to resume outdoor badminton games and dancing.
Wuhan has reported just three new confirmed infections in the past 21 days and only two in the past two weeks.
But even as Wuhan came back to life, new imported cases in the far northern Province of Heilongjiang surged to a daily high of 25, fueled by an influx of infected travelers crossing the border from Russia.
On Wednesday, Suifenhe city announced restrictions on the movement of citizens similar to the measures Wuhan has endured.
People must stay in their residential compounds and only one person per family can leave once every three days to buy necessities, and must return on the same day, state-run CCTV reported.
While the whole country is celebrating the unlocking of Wuhan, few noticed that Heilongjiang is under enormous pressure dealing with infections coming over the borderOne person wrote on the Weibo social media platform.