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IN PHOTOS: Wuhan bustles a year after world's first coronavirus lockdown
This photo taken on January 19, 2021 shows traffic along a street in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. January 23 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal

IN PHOTOS: Wuhan bustles a year after world's first coronavirus lockdown

(Agence France-Presse) - January 21, 2021 - 5:05pm

WUHAN, China — Barriers still enclose Wuhan's notorious seafood market — one of the few immediate reminders the city was once the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic that has transformed the world.

Otherwise, the new normal in the central Chinese city of 11 million is much like the old reality; cars buzz down highways, sidewalks bustle with shoppers, and public transport and parks are busy.

On Saturday, the city where COVID-19 was first detected in late 2019 marks one year since it was locked down to crush the outbreak. 

(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo (top) taken on January 25, 2020 of medical staff wearing protective clothing in the early days of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic at the entrance to Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province; and the same location (bottom), now with doors and barriers, in Wuhan on January 19, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal
(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo (top) of people wearing face masks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus as they crowd into a hallway waiting for medical attention at Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on January 25, 2020; and another image (bottom) from the same location with few patients on January 19, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal

It was the first — and one of the most severe — coronavirus quarantines in the world, with transport to and from the city sealed off on January 23.

Seventy-six days of fear and panic followed before the virus scourge was brought under control.

(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo (top) taken on January 25, 2020 of employees at a pharmacy wearing protective clothing and masks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as they serve customers in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province; and a general view (bottom) of the same pharmacy in Wuhan on January 18, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal
(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo (top) taken on January 23, 2020 of a lone passenger standing after arriving at the nearly-deserted Wuhan train station, usually full of passengers ahead of the Lunar New Year but empty due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province; and the same scene (bottom) of passengers arriving at Wuhan train station on January 18, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal

Today, hospitals and pharmacies are empty of COVID-19 patients, the panic-slicked days of last year banished.

The city has bounced back and is eager to move on from being known as ground zero of the deadly virus.

(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo (top) taken on January 23, 2020 of people waiting for taxis after arriving at the nearly-deserted Wuhan train station, usually full of passengers ahead of the Lunar New Year but quiet due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province; and the same scene at the same location on January 18, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal
(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo taken on January 25, 2020 of pharmacy workers wearing protective clothing and masks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus as they serve customers in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province; and the same location at the pharmacy taken on January 18, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal

No official commemorations of Wuhan's first lockdown are planned.

But vestiges of that nightmarish period are still visible. 

The boards blocking off the Huanan seafood market in the centre of the city serve as an eerie marker of the first known cluster of cases before the virus billowed out of control, spilling beyond China's borders and claiming more than two million lives across the world. 

(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo (top) taken on January 26, 2020 of a general view of an empty street at the start of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province; and the same street with traffic in Wuhan on January 19, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal
(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo (top) taken on January 23, 2020 of passengers wearing face masks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic while sitting on a train usually full with passengers ahead of the Lunar New Year, travelling from the Chinese city of Shanghai to Wuhan at the start of the pandemic; and a similar scene on a Wuhan-bound train from Shanghai of masked passengers before arriving at Wuhan train station in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on January 18, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected
AFP/Hector Retamal

And while the streets are full again, protective face masks remain a common sight — a reminder of tight measures still in place across much of the country as fears rise over a number of local outbreaks.

China had largely brought the virus under control until a sharp uptick in cases in the past few weeks, which prompted fresh lockdowns, travel restrictions and multiple rounds of mass testing. 

(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo (top) taken on January 25, 2020 of medical staff wearing protective clothing in the early days of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province; and the same location (bottom) in Wuhan on January 19, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal
(COMBO) This combination shows a file photo (top) taken on January 24, 2020 of a police officer standing guard outside of Huanan Seafood wholesale market where the COVID-19 coronavirus was detected in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province; and a general view (bottom) of the same market in Wuhan on January 20, 2021. January 23, 2021 marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected before sweeping across the world and killing more than two million people.
AFP/Hector Retamal

After a handful of cases were detected in Beijing in recent days, authorities banned 1.6 million residents from leaving the capital.

CHINA NOVEL CORONAVIRUS WUHAN
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