Wuhan welcomes tourists 100 days after lifting coronavirus-induced lockdown

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 22, 2020, 03.27 PM(IST)

Residents dance next to the Yangtze River in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province, on July 14, 2020. Various parts of China have been hit by continuous downpours since June, with the damage adding pressure to a domestic economy already hit by the coron Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

COVID-19 was first discovered in a food market in Wuhan, where the first case was lodged after people started showing symptoms of pneumonia

The initial epicentre of COVID-19, Wuhan in China welcomed its first group of tourists since the lockdown ended over 100 days ago.

Situated in the Hubei province, the first tour in the city known for its culture opened up. Meanwhile, the country is experiencing one of the worst floods in its history at the moment. Large areas in the country still remain submerged, and homes destroyed. Millions are affected by the devastating floods.

Once the epicentre

COVID-19 was first discovered in a food market in Wuhan, where the first case was lodged after people started showing symptoms of pneumonia.

The group of tourists came from the neighbouring province of Hunan, and consisted of people between the age of 12-82.

Also read: China's Wuhan declares red alert as floods disrupt supply chains

Reuters reported that the tour bus was sterilised to avoid any potential transmission of coronavirus, which is currently wreaking havoc across 188 countries.

The tourists had to follow social distancing guidelines, with mandatory masks and a free distribution of sanitisers, after taking their temperature.

Tourism industry relieved

The pilot tourist group will see Wuhan’s landmarks like Chu River Han Street, Hubu Lane, and the Yellow Crane Tower.

Also read: China offers rare glimpse of Wuhan lab, centre of coronavirus conspiracy theories

"We got some free tickets for out tourists and enhanced the accommodation level to the five-star-rated hotel where they could enjoy sumptuous buffet for dinner," said Qian Wenkang, the tour guide told Reuters.

"The resumption of inter-provincial travels is a great benefit to the entire tourism industry as well as a hopeful sign for the market to recover," said Lei Wenjie, the CPC committee secretary of the Hubei culture and tourism department.

Also read: Virus samples with 96% resemblance to COVID-19 were sent to Wuhan lab in 2013

However, a new research has pointed how temperature tests in the pursuit of identifying coronavirus cases is pretty much ineffective, as almost half the cases don’t even exhibit apparent symptoms of the virus. So if their temperature was normal, they could start be transmitting the disease to other people.

As of July 21, the country has 14 cases of coronavirus. In Hubei alone, over 68,135 cases were recorded, out of which 4,512 succumbed to the virus, and 63,623 recovered. The global tally has surpassed 15 million, with the US, Brazil, and India the hardest-hit countries at the moment. India currently has a recovery rate of 63 per cent, one of the highest in the world. China, on an average has been reporting 10 new cases of coronavirus everyday, which might explain why the former epicentre is now opening up for tourism.