At 10:00 a.m. on January 23, 2020, the capital of the Hubei province, Wuhan, decided to close down all kinds of activity and confine its entire population. Later, the motive would wreak havoc globally to this day: a virus called SARS-CoV-2, known as Covid-19. The anniversary of the closure has been marked by strict measures against the virus, a total of 88,911 infected and 4,635 deaths in China, according to official figures, and the return of social life in which it is considered the epicenter of the pandemic.
During the weeks leading up to January 23, many Chinese citizens had speculated online about the spread of a new, highly contagious virus that caused respiratory problems, fever and even death. With nothing confirmed, policy makers decided to shut down the Wuhan seafood markets on January 5. Shortly after the first patient died from Covid-19 and alarms went off throughout the Asian country.
At the same time, the Chinese doctor, Li Weinliang, warned about a possible new virus. The Chinese authorities silenced his argument and the doctor would end up dying from the same condition.
The result would be 76 days of confinement, until April 8, and a battle against the disease that few could imagine. “People did not have information, they did not know what exactly the virus was or how it could be contracted and that generated a lot of anxiety,” the psychologist Li Geng, who was helping the Wuhan during the confinement, explains to the EFE agency.
While the Government began a severe procedure of action to alleviate the virus, an issue initially criticized by citizens of the Chinese province, the WHO did not declare the Covid-19 crisis as a pandemic until March 11.
In Wuhan there were really harrowing moments at the beginning. Nobody knew what was happening, people died, diagnoses were disparate and health personnel suffered from a lack of troops. It only took a little over a week for the operating system to build Huoshenshan’s first field hospital, in which situations were experienced that not even the health workers themselves want to remember.
With the Chinese New Year in sight, the authorities do not want to repeat the mistake that ended with many Chinese returning home for this holiday last year, accentuating the spread of the virus worldwide. The pandemic has already left approximately 100 million infected and more than two million dead worldwide.
Wuhan presents a more relaxed reality, although with restrictions
An intrinsic fear of disease still lingers in the consciousness of the Wuhan, a year after the city was paralyzed. But the context has certainly changed. Although China is facing a new wave of the virus and today the National Health Commission has reported 107 new infections, the outlook has been reversed.
It should be noted that the Chinese system does not count the asymptomatic, although of this group only 99 people have been located in the last 24 hours.
In early September, the first festivals were held in Wuhan, in which hundreds of people could be observed without masks and without respecting social distancing.
Three weeks ago images arrived of the thousands of people who gathered in the pedestrian street of Jianghan to welcome the year 2021. A scene that is impossible in other parts of the world, where thousands of new cases and hundreds of deaths are registered each day.
Various Chinese towns tighten their restrictions
As a result of the new infections, large nerve centers of the Asian giant have decided to impose drastic measures in order to avoid a new wave in the country.
Of the 107 infections reported today, 56 were located in Heilongjiang province, located in northern China, while Beijing and the Shanghai financial sector registered three new cases. In Beijing, the competent authorities are conducting massive tests among its population, and Shanghai decided to test all health teams in the city for Covid-19, in addition to declaring cities belonging to the Baoshan district at medium risk.
On the other hand, a documentary was released yesterday on the screens of Chinese cinemas as a tribute to all those who stopped the spread of the virus at the most delicate moment. Titled “Days and nights in Wuhan”, the film highlights the work of the health service, without showing too much the extreme situations that were experienced before the progressive return to normality in the region began in early April.
With EFE and Reuters