Year on from first Covid-19 death, Wuhan basks in recovery
One year ago, China announced the first death from a new virus in Wuhan -- 12 months later, Covid-19 has claimed 1.9 million lives in an unrelenting march across the world.
But in the central Chinese city of 11 million where the first known outbreak started, the virus has been extinguished.
On Monday morning, the anniversary slipped by unmarked in Wuhan -- commuters moved freely to work while parks and riverside promenades buzzed with walkers in a city determined to banish its tag as the coronavirus ground zero.
In a sparse report on January 11, 2020, China confirmed its first death from an unknown virus -- a 61-year-old man who was a regular at the now-notorious Wuhan wet market linked to many of the early cases.
The world would soon become grimly familiar with the disease that killed him as Covid-19.
Little is still known about the first victim, including his name, while the market where the first reported clusters of cases were traced back to has remained closed, surrounded by boarding.
Independent experts are yet to be granted access to the market or retrace in detail those early days of the virus in Wuhan.
The city has now bounced back and is proud of its revival.
Wuhan is the safest city in China now, even the whole world, 66-year-old resident Xiong Liansheng told AFP on Monday, as dozens of couples danced in a busy park in the morning sunshine, some wearing face masks.
Commuters headed to work and others strolled along the riverfront -- a sharp contrast to the countries still under strict lockdowns and restrictions.
The Wuhan people's awareness of epidemic prevention and control is very high -- even my two-year-old grandson will wear a mask when going out, said Xiong.
China has faced criticism at home and abroad over its initial handling of the virus, including attempts to silence whistleblowers and failure to report cases for days in early January.
Two weeks after confirming the first death, Wuhan and the surrounding province were put under lockdown.
Chinese authorities are trying to stamp out a series of local outbreaks, reporting 103 new infections on Monday -- the highest figure since July last year -- most in northern Hebei province.
Transport links have been cut and schools closed in an effort to contain the cluster.
There are also mounting fears that travel plans for hundreds of millions of people for the Lunar New Year next month may be ruined as virus controls tighten.
But it is a fraction of the daily infections in the United States, Britain and many European countries.
China's official toll stands at 4,634 deaths from Covid-19.
(2021/01/12 11:21)Click Here for Japanese Translation
AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL
- 01/15 12:25 German police take down 'world's largest darknet marketplace'
- 01/15 12:21 China make-up ad pulled for 'victim-blaming'
- 01/15 12:16 Sri Lanka revives port deal with India, Japan
- 01/15 12:05 'Auschwitz' T-shirt-wearing Capitol rioter arrested
- 01/15 11:47 Tom Hanks to host Biden inauguration TV show
- 01/15 11:20 Tintin painting sells for record 3.2 mln euros at auction
- 01/14 15:21 Olympic swimming medalist Keller charged over Capitol riot
- 01/14 14:51 'Say ahh'-- Chinese robots take throat swabs to fight Covid outbreak
- 01/14 12:41 9,000 died in Irish homes for 'illegitimate' infants-- report
- 01/14 12:31 After investor pressure, Intel says CEO to step down
- 01/14 12:25 Mini robot fish swim in schools, just like the real thing
- 01/14 12:21 World's oldest known cave painting found in Indonesia
- 01/13 09:17 Thai king sweeps prison floors alongside consort
- 01/13 09:14 Melania Trump breaks silence on Congress invasion -- and complains
- 01/13 09:07 From macaques to crabs, wildlife faces threat from face masks
- 01/13 08:56 Turkish TV preacher jailed for 1,000 years for sex crimes
- 01/13 08:35 Vogue's Wintour defends controversial Kamala Harris cover
- 01/13 08:29 Investigation into who etched 'Trump' on manatee's back
- 01/12 11:27 Top global oil exporter Saudi Arabia launches car-free city
- 01/12 11:21 Year on from first Covid-19 death, Wuhan basks in recovery
- 01/12 11:16 Hungary kitchen fills welfare gap for Covid jobless
- 01/12 08:57 Pacific's Micronesia records first Covid-19 case
- 01/12 08:51 State Dept prematurely announces Trump departure
- 01/12 08:45 Seoul city under fire for sexist advice to pregnant women
- 01/08 13:48 1 in 100,000 had severe reactions to Pfizer vaccine-- US study
- 01/08 13:38 Ice, ice, baby-- Beijing's winter swimmers shrug off record lows
- 01/08 13:27 Naked fugitive found in croc-infested northern Australia waters
- 01/08 13:21 China goes online to mock 'beautiful sight' of US Capitol chaos
- 01/08 13:16 Tesla CEO Elon Musk now world's wealthiest person-- US media
- 01/08 13:12 Capitol insanity-- Jamiroquai frontman says he wasn't in DC