China has lifted an 11-week lockout in the city of Wuhan, celebrating the occasion with a light show on the Yangtze River.
The closure of Wuhan, Hubei Province where the coronavirus was first identified at the end of last year, started on January 23 and lasted 76 days.
According to official figures, Wuhan has had more than 50,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 2,500 deaths from the disease, or about 80% of all deaths in the country.
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Wednesday, the residents of the city of 11 million were allowed to travel, provided they have a smartphone app confirming their good health and showing that they had not been in close contact with a person having contracted the virus.
More than 50,000 people are expected to leave the city by plane and train on Wednesday – to go home or work outside Wuhan.
At midnight on Wednesday, travel restrictions quickly stopped operating.
Yan Xiangsheng, the district police chief, said that nearly 1,000 vehicles passed through a busy road toll on the outskirts of the city between midnight and 7 a.m.
Back in the city, Tong Zhengkun, a resident of Wuhan, looked at the light from a bridge, saying, “I haven’t been out for more than 70 days. Being inside for so long has driven me crazy. “
Her apartment complex was closed after other residents tested positive for Covid-19 and food was dropped off by local workers.
The same day that Wuhan’s closure ended, a city in northern China restricted the movement of its citizens.