Wuhan has restarted several metro services and reopened parts of the city border for the first time since the city went into lockdown in January. The Chinese metropolis was initially identified as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

The lockdown will not be officially lifted until April 8, but since Saturday, the more than ten million residents of the city have been given some freedom of movement again, provided they are healthy. People can prove this with a code on the mobile phone.

Public transport personnel still wear special protective equipment and volunteers have distributed disinfectants. Until the official end of the lockdown, people are not allowed to leave the city and most shops remain closed.

Since Wednesday, March 18, residents of Hubei Province who do not live in Wuhan have been allowed to go wherever they want.

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Wuhan: the transformation from metropolis to ghost town

Airports and train stations were closed at the end of January

Train stations and airports were closed to all travelers on January 23 to stem the spread of the coronavirus. That week, deaths and infections rose rapidly, especially in Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province.

The number of infections in China now stands at more than 81,000 and the number of deceased COVID-19 patients at about 3,300. However, since early March, the country seems to have largely controlled the epidemic. After Friday, 54 new infections were reported across the country, compared to thousands daily in February.

Coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan

In December, an as yet unknown lung disease was discovered in a patient in Wuhan. Shortly afterwards, more and more people became ill. They had all been in a market where live animals were sold.

In January, the virus started spreading from Wuhan through China, and then around the world.

Follow the latest developments around the virus in our live blog.

The coronavirus in short

  • The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person via sneezing and cough drops. The chance of becoming infected through surfaces such as door handles is small. This chance decreases if you wash your hands often.
  • You can considerably reduce the chance of spreading by keeping at least 1.5 meters away from others.
  • An infected person infects two to three others on average. Precautions are necessary to contain this.
  • The vast majority of patients have mild (flu-like) complaints.
  • Almost all deaths involve the elderly or other vulnerable persons, such as heart, lung or diabetes patients. If everyone complies with the measures, this reduces their risks.
  • Read here what precautions you should take.