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After a 76-day Lockdown, Wuhan Airport Resumes Domestic Flights

After a 76-day Lockdown, Wuhan Airport Resumes Domestic Flights
Representative Image: Travellers use masks and head to the airport as the restrictions get lifted, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Anxious passengers rushed out of the city after strict restrictions were lifted

OT Staff
April 09 , 2020
02 Min Read

The gateway to Wuhan, the virus’s epicentre, has re-opened. The Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Hubei Province resumed domestic flight operations on Wednesday, April 8.

The city was on lockdown since January 23 as China had shut down all transport to and from Wuhan. Some of the first passengers to leave the city were doctors and healthcare workers from other parts of China who were called in to help battle the outbreak but were stuck in the province.

After the restrictions were lifted, reports say that tears of joy rolled down people’s eyes. Many of them had gone to the city to celebrate the Lunar New Year vacation in January, and had been stuck there ever since as the Chinese government sealed off the province to curb the virus. Not just flights, cars and trains were also used by the people in the mad rush to get out of the city.

However, people were only allowed to leave the city with a special authorisation, which is a 'green QR code'. The QR code was provided by the apps supervised by the Alibaba Group and Tencent. It uses an individual’s health information, travel history and close contacts to deem if the person is virus-free and safe to travel.

 

According to media reports, the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport Terminal was disinfected by 161 professionals last week. Even though the lockdown has ended, the Chinese government has still warned citizens to take all necessary precautions.

One of the first flights to depart the airport was China Eastern Airlines flight MU2527 to Sanya (SYX) in Hainan province carrying 42 passengers. For April 8 itself, there were 233 intra-China flights scheduled for arrival and departure which connected China to more than 50 cities. As per estimates the flights transported around 11,000 passengers that day.

More than 14 lakh cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported worldwide. The United States of America alone has reported 4,034,861, making it the epicentre of this pandemic. China reported more than 81,000 confirmed cases, but still remains behind Spain and Italy which have reported 1,52,449 and 1,39,422 cases respectively.


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