Deja vu in Wuhan as restrictions return one year after first lockdown

Deja vu in Wuhan as restrictions return one year after first lockdown

Wuhan: For people living in Wuhan this January, a year after the world’s first coronavirus lockdown came into place, déjà vu hangs in the foggy, winter air.

China is battling its most severe outbreak of the coronavirus in 11 months – more than 2000 cases over the past five weeks, with at least three from the new British variant, not including asymptomatic positives. Infections are primarily clustered around cities in north-east China, more than 1000 kilometres away from Wuhan.

But the city where coronavirus first erupted in late 2019 is taking zero chances. Authorities have reintroduced restrictions, limiting bars and restaurants to 75 per cent capacity and banning large group gatherings.

Posters with pandemic tips that had been torn down are going back up, reminding passers-by to wash their hands regularly and stand at least one metre apart. Bins for face mask disposal are again perched on street corners.

Blue, a hue associated with lockdown – blue face masks, blue emergency tents, blue metal sheets that sealed streets – is back in the city’s colour palette.