The footage of the dance party sparked negative reactions to Wuhan’s apparent return to normal life. A newspaper front page in Australia headlined the story as “China’s big holiday”, and “life is a beach in Wuhan as the world pays the price for the virus”.
Chinese authorities have faced persistent criticism of the first attempts to cover up the coronavirus outbreak, with some world leaders saying they could have stopped its spread to other countries.
Social media comments said the Wuhan event was “a slap in the face to the rest of the world”, and accused people of “partying like the [virus] did not arrive ”.
Others have defended the city, saying their strong response to Covid-19 “has paid off.”
Birth of a pandemic: in the first weeks of the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan
The state-backed Global Times on Wednesday called the attacks on the pool party “sour grapes.” In an article, he said Wuhan now welcomes an influx of tourists and its economy is recovering, which local residents say should not only be seen as a sign of the city’s return to normalcy, but also as a reminder to countries struggling with the virus. that strict preventive measures have a return on investment ”.
The city of 11m was the first place to record a Covid-19 outbreak and instituted a hard lockdown of residents that shocked observers. In the months that followed, the virus spread across much of the world, with many countries implementing their own tough lockdowns on residents.
Wuhan finally emerged from the lockout in April, after 76 days, but saw a new outbreak a month later. Authorities have reintroduced some measures and locked down parts of the city and launched a program of mass testing for all residents.
Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, has recorded more than 68,000 infections out of the 89,500 reported cases in China and 4,512 of its 4,706 reported deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.