A Chinese state-backed newspaper attempted to control the damage on Tuesday after the publication of weekend photos showing thousands of revelers crammed into a water park in Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was first reported before spread across the world.
Seen by some as a slap in the face to the rest of the world, photos from the first epicenter of the coronavirus showed crowds crowded into the Wuhan Maya Beach water park to attend an electronic music festival on Saturday. The British Telegraph ran a front page article on the viral images with the headline: “The Great Chinese Holiday: Life is a Beach in Wuhan As the World Pays the Price of the Virus”.
Global Times, an English-language newspaper backed by the Chinese Communist Party, called the criticisms “sour grapes” and defended Wuhan’s strict lockdown measures and testing of its nearly 11 million residents, saying the massive pool party was a ‘reward’.
WUHAN WATER PARK HOSTS MASSIVE POOL PARTY IN CORONAVIRUS GROUND ZERO IN CHINA
As China continually seeks to sidestep blame for the pandemic, Global Times published an article Tuesday titled “Pool Party After Wuhan Pandemic Sends Message to the World: Strict Antivirus Measures Pay Return on Investment.”
Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 was first reported and hardest hit by the virus, is now welcoming an influx of tourists, and its economy is recovering, which local residents say , should not only be seen as a sign of the city. return to normal, but also a reminder to countries struggling with the virus that strict preventive measures have a return on investment, ”the story reads.
The viral photos of the water park were first released by Agence France-Presse, and social media users around the world quickly sounded the alarm. They contrasted sharply with images of empty streets and closed public transport when Wuhan was effectively isolated from the rest of the world earlier this year.
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A 76-day lockdown was lifted in April. Doubt remains over the coronavirus figures reported by the Chinese government, but Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital, says it has not had any new cases transmitted nationally since mid-May.
The story also claimed that the park had taken measures to protect the safety of visitors and employees – such as temperature tests and disinfection – and had capped the number of entrants in the mid-pre-era. -pandemic.
A taxi company owner in Wuhan, Zhang Yong, reportedly told The Times he found it funny that “foreigners were fussing about our pool party.” He said he welcomed an influx of tourists to the city after nearly going bankrupt during the lockdown.
“I guess it also rings a bell for some countries, which are still struggling to tackle COVID-19, that without strict measures the virus will not be pushed back. We fought hard, that’s our reward, ”he said.
Meanwhile, nearly 22.5 million cases have been documented worldwide and more than 788,000 people have died from complications associated with COVID-19. Thousands of new cases are still recorded in the United States every day, in part due to increased testing capacity.
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Accused of coronavirus cover-up, China has been repeatedly accused by the US State Department of failing to share critical information about the virus in a timely manner, leaving the rest of the world ill-prepared for an outbreak that quickly reached the pandemic. level. The DOJ has also documented efforts by the Chinese government to spread disinformation online which falsely claims the virus originated in Italy or the United States.