Thousands of passengers leave Wuhan after the end of the confinement

The Chinese government expects at least 55,000 people to leave the city, which has been confined since January 23, on Wednesday.

Thousands of people rushed to the Wuhan train station on Tuesday night after authorities lifted the ban on leaving the city where the new coronavirus pandemic emerged in late December. The Chinese government expects at least 55,000 people to leave the city, which has been confined since January 23, on Wednesday.
Thousands of passengers leave Wuhan after the end of the confinement
Wuhan, China - Thousands of people rushed to the Wuhan train station on Tuesday night after authorities lifted the ban on leaving the city where the new coronavirus pandemic emerged in late December.
At 04:00 PM on Tuesday, the restrictions imposed more than two months ago that restricted moving out of the city of 11 million inhabitants, a key step in ending the health crisis in China, were lifted.
"Wuhan has lost a lot in this epidemic and the people of Wuhan have paid a heavy price," said a 21-year-old boy named Yao, who was returning to work at a restaurant in Shanghai.
"Now that the confinement is lifted, I think we are all very happy," he added.
The government expects about 55,000 to leave the city, which has been confined since January 23, on Wednesday.
Some could hardly hide their happiness.
"I was locked up 77 days ago!" exclaimed a man from nearby Hunan province, who was caught by confinement in Wuhan.
The coronavirus made Wuhan the first city in the world to undergo draconian confinement that now affects nearly half of the world's population.
Wuhan's measures were extended to Hubei province, confining tens of thousands of people to their homes and cutting off the city from the rest of the world while prohibiting entry and exit from the province to curb transmission of the virus.
- We haven't seen you in a while –
The Chinese media celebrated the suspension of the travel ban, with headlines in the electronic editions saying, "Wuhan, we haven't seen you in a long time."
Hubei and the provincial capital Wuhan were the hardest hit by the pandemic that officially left 81,000 cases in China and more than 3,300 dead. More than 2,500 people died in hospitals at the epicenter of the pandemic.
Agents reminded travelers of hygiene measures and the need to keep a meter away, while loudspeakers broadcast messages calling Wuhan a "city of heroes."
The new coronavirus appeared in this city at the end of 2019. Many of the cases seemed linked to a seafood market that sold wild animals.
The Communist Party authorities are accused of initially hiding the outbreak and giving a slow response at first to curb its spread, and many question the reported numbers given the virulence and speed with which it has spread in countries like Italy, Spain or the United States, which present death and contagion figures much higher than the Chinese.
Tuesday was the first time in months that China reported that there had been no deaths linked to Covid-19.
However, authorities fear a new wave of infections from people coming in from abroad - particularly Chinese returning home - as well as the invisible threat of asymptomatic cases.
Hubei residents were confined until about two weeks ago when restrictions began to ease, allowing travel to resume in other parts of China.
However, authorities waited until Wednesday to allow travelers trapped in Wuhan to leave despite fears in the rest of the country that they may be vectors of the coronavirus.
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