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Back to Wuhan, one year after world’s first lockdown

Life is returning to normal in Wuhan in central China a year after authorities sealed off the city of 11 million for 76 days, confining people to their homes.

SCMP Graphics Published January 22, 2021

The conditions are in contrast to the rest of the world, where some places are returning to lockdown and health systems are under strain. Elsewhere in China, millions are again under stay-at-home orders because of new outbreaks in the north.

The South China Morning Post returned to Wuhan to see what life is like after the initial outbreak that left 3,869 dead, according to official figures.

Business and travel have resumed, people eat out and some of Wuhan’s hustle and bustle is back. The Wuhan food market linked to the city’s first reported cases in December 2019 remains closed.

There are many unanswered questions about the origins of the pandemic that has claimed more than 2 million lives. An expert team from the World Health Organization is in Wuhan searching for answers.

The railway station, about a 13-minute walk from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, is one of three main passenger train stations in Wuhan and one of the biggest in China.

The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market is where the first cluster of Covid-19 cases was detected in December 2019. Wuhan health officials closed the market on January 1, 2020 for “sanitation and renovation”. It remains barricaded and empty.

Many vendors from the Huanan market have moved to the newer Sijimei Wholesale Market on the outskirts of the city. But business isn’t as good, some say, given the location and disruptions to supply chains during the pandemic.

Leishenshan Hospital was one of two temporary hospitals built to handle Covid-19 patients in Wuhan. It had 1,500 beds and was completed in 12 days.

Hubu Alley is famous for its street market, particularly food stalls that offer breakfast specialties like hot-dry noodles, fried rice and milk buns.

Sprawling across 32 hectares (81 acres), the park was established in the early 20th century and is one of the most popular places for elderly people in the city.

Creative Director Darren Long
Story and videos by Han Huang
Illustrations by Marcelo Duhalde, Kaliz Lee and Adolfo Arranz
Web developing by Dennis Wong
Edited by Andrew London, Samantha Kierath and May Chen

Sources: Wuhan Health Commission, Mapcreator

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