Millions wake up to fresh lockdowns as China to lift Wuhan restrictions
LONDON — As millions of people across the globe adjusted to life under tightening lockdowns on Tuesday, in China, where the coronavirus pandemic originated, restrictions began to slowly ease.
The lockdown imposed on the city of Wuhan, where COVID19 was first detected, is set to end April 8, the provincial Hubei Epidemic Control Task Force Command Center announced. Residents will be allowed to travel out of the province for work as early as Wednesday once they pass a test for the virus.
Public transportation in Wuhan, in Hubei Province, began running test services on Monday anticipating the return to normal life.
More than 380,000 people worldwide have been confirmed to have coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Hubei late last year, according to Johns Hopkins University, resulting in more than 16,500 deaths.
But in Britain, the country woke up to greater restrictions on their movements and activities after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced late Monday a sweeping nationwide lockdown that will prohibit gatherings of more than two people and almost all social events, such as weddings and christenings.
“You must stay home,” Johnson said during a televised speech to the nation on Monday evening. “The critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.”
People can exercise outside once a day, but at a safe distance from others, and shopping should be limited to essentials. All stores selling non-essential goods and other public gathering places like libraries, places of worship and playgrounds were ordered closed. Johnson said the police would also be given the authority to disperse gatherings and issue fines for non-compliance.
“The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost,” he said.
Yet on Tuesday, photos of packed subways across London were circulating on social media.