China. The New Year was welcomed in Wuhan with a bang

China.  The New Year was welcomed in Wuhan with a bang

China. The New Year was welcomed in Wuhan with a bang

In Wuhan, where the COVID-19 pandemic began more than three years ago, and many other Chinese cities celebrated the arrival of the New Year on Saturday. It was the first such large gatherings since the government in Beijing eased epidemic restrictions, Reuters reported.

“For the sake of your health and safety, do not gather and do not stop” – a message with this content could be heard from loudspeakers in the streets of Wuhan. But residents, eager for change after several years of strict restrictions, heeded these warnings.


Tens of thousands of people took part in the New Year celebrations, surrounded by numerous law enforcement officers, Reuters reported. “I lived and worked in the conditions of the pandemic throughout 2022. I hope that 2023 will be a time when everything can return to what it was before 2020,” wrote a resident of Jiangsu Province, located in the eastern part of the country, on social media near Shanghai.

Welcoming the New Year in WuhanTINGSHU WANG / Reuters / Forum

The end of the “zero covid” policy

Authorities China lifted most of the draconian restrictions related to the “zero covid” policy in December, emphasizing that the currently dominant omicron variant is much milder than the original variant coronavirus and rarely causes pneumonia.

After abandoning mandatory testing and isolation for those infected, the omicron variant coronavirus began to spread across the country on a massive scale with virtually no control. The wave of infections overwhelms hospitals, in some places doctors and nurses have to work even though they are infected, pharmacies run out of antipyretics, and hearses queue up in front of the crematoria.

READ MORE: “Global Concerns and Questions”. WHO Demands ‘real-time concrete data’ from China

Passengers wearing masks at a Beijing train station PAP/EPA/WU HAO

The epicenter of the pandemic

The first case of SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in November 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese province of Hubei, with a population of 12 million. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic spread, among others to for Europe and North America. According to data from the Worldometer statistical portal, 6.7 million people have died from COVID-19 in the world so far.

Main photo source: TINGSHU WANG / Reuters / Forum

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