Pictures show bars and clubs packed in Chinese city
It was the epicentre of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but Wuhan, China, is now party central.
Revellers are once more thronging the nightclubs, bars and restaurants of the central Chinese city of 11 million residents, and partying like it’s 2018, the New York Post reports.
Wuhan’s revival is a glimpse into a post-pandemic world that many hope for in 2021, Reuters noted on Saturday.
“During the time of the epidemic, Wuhan was really a dead city,” one reveller told the wire service as she dined on skewered meats with a crowd of friends.
“After it reopened, I’ve never seen so many people. Now people are all coming out to eat and have fun.”
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The city launched a 76-day total lockdown from January 23 to April 8 after the first outbreak, and has not reported a new case of COVID-19 since early May.
Earlier this month, the city even launched a promotional video to attract tourists.
“From the myriad twinkling lights along the Yangtze River and the amazing dance and music from the Zhiyin cruise, to the glittering light and beautiful voices from the livehouse … give me five! Everyone!” the video enthuses.
It comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced an international team of experts due to travel to China next month to probe the animal origins of COVID-19 will go to Wuhan and will carry out their investigation freely.
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Asked about the international mission, which the organisation has been working for months to get to China, WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan told reporters the experts were expected to travel “in the first week of January”.
“There will be quarantine arrangements, obviously, we have to. As ever, we will have to comply with whatever the arrangements are for risk management in travel on arrival and in China itself,” he said.
The UN health agency sent an advance team to Beijing in July to lay the groundwork for the international probe.
But until this week it had remained unclear when the larger team of scientists would be able to travel to China to begin epidemiological studies to try to identify the first human cases and their source of infection.
There had been concerns about whether the experts would be permitted to travel to Wuhan.
But Dr Ryan insisted that while the experts would of course pass through Beijing, there was no doubt “the team will visit Wuhan”.
“That’s the purpose of the mission,” he said.
“The purpose of the mission is to go to the original point at which human cases were detected, and we fully expect to do that.”
He also bristled at a question about whether they would be working “under Chinese supervision” while in China.
“It’s a team of international experts with international renown, (who) will work with our Chinese colleagues,” he said.
“They will not be supervised by Chinese officials.
“We will operate as we would operate in any member state, at their invitation, with gratefulness for their support to that and with the full intention of pursuing the scientific principles that this organisation has always stood for.”
– With AFP
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission