Locked-down no longer, China’s Hubei begins return to normal

Life started returning to normal on Wednesday after two months of lockdown in Hubei province

China reported a rapid decrease in the cases of coronavirus to 47 on Tuesday, all of them in travelers returning home, down from 78 infections reported a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China was 81,218, with 474 imported infections at the end of Tuesday. The death toll in mainland China reached 3,281 as of the end of Tuesday, up by four from Monday.

“I booked my ticket this morning after hearing the news,” said Chen Ting, who was accompanied by her three-year-old son among about 40 people getting off a train in Hubei’s Xianning city.

The travel restrictions were removed in the province.

Restaurants were only serving food for takeaway. Loudspeakers blared out promotions like buy one get one free. Everyone wore masks.

The lockdown of Hubei’s capital Wuhan will be lifted on April 8, a milestone in China’s war against the epidemic as Beijing shifts its focus towards stemming from imported cases and rebooting the economy.

Back to work

The Hubei government on Wednesday told workers who had been quarantined at home to go back to work as soon as possible.

Even as the lockdown in Hubei is eased, strict measures to control infections from abroad continue to be put in place.

To prevent a surge in imported cases, China is declining quarantine and screening rules for all international arrivals.