A year ago, Wuhan seemed like a ghost city with very scared inhabitants, but this Saturday the Chinese metropolis celebrates the first anniversary of its confinement with a mixture of pride, for having overcome the trauma of Covid, and caution against a possible relapse.
In late 2019, the huge city in central China was the first in the world to suffer from what was then a mysterious killer virus.
The huge city in central China was the first in the world to suffer from what was then a mysterious killer virus at the end of 2019. And on January 23, 2020, when the official balance reported 17 deaths, the communist regime ordered a lockdown to stop the epidemic.
The world interpreted it as a sign that a serious epidemic was threatening. In Wuhan, the decision, announced in the middle of the night, surprised 11 million residents.
Train stations and airports were closed, as were shops, roads were blocked and the transport was paralyzed. For 76 days, Wuhan was isolated from the world, with residents locked at home for fear of the virus and hospitals overwhelmed by the number of patients. A year later, the outlook is no longer apocalyptic.
It is cloudy and the air is polluted, but this Saturday morning the inhabitants have gone out to do gymnastics along the Yangtze, and groups of retirees dance in a park.
The city, the epicenter of the epidemic, seems like a haven of health peace when compared to many places in the world.
Fun and clubbing are back, while much of the planet live under a curfew and distancing measures.
Wenfu Li, a man in his fifties wearing a black mask told AFP that he feels completely safe. The situation is under control and he is no longer afraid.
Because although Wuhan has not registered new cases of covid-19 since last May, the threat of the virus is still there. In recent weeks, several Chinese regions have re-confined part of their population after limited outbreaks.