As the spread of coronavirus has slowed dramatically in China, the country has finally begun relaxing its social distancing measures.
Wuhan, the city where the outbreak began, recorded no new cases earlier last week, and now the checkpoints in the city have been lifted. The barriers that were in place since January were lifted off, and, according to local media, fireworks were set off as they were moved.
The city has not reported any new cases for four days straight, and the country as a whole reported 39 new cases yesterday.
The country will now cautiously and slowly restart the economy in provinces classified as at “low risk of infection”. The schools are starting to reopen, and supermarkets and conveniences stores, along with some factories, are also reopening.
Cinemas, libraries, and museums will be allowed to open in the eastern city of Hangzhou, and they will not measure people’s temperatures at subways and office buildings anymore.
People in China say that it’s strange to feel life beginning to return to ‘normal’, and even older people say that the last two months felt surreal.
Dr. Gauden Galea, the World Health Organisation representative in China told UN News that it’s an epidemic that was nipped as it was growing and stopped in its tracks.
He said that this is a big lesson for every other country in the world: that the natural course of the outbreak does not need to be a very high peak that overwhelms health services, but the lesson is containment. So, other countries should learn from it and adapt to their own circumstances.