Wuhan, April 10 (IANS) Life in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province where the global coronavirus pandemic originated last December, was slowly returning to normal as the citys residents emerge from two months of quarantine and confinement.

Although the outbreak was finally under control, severe restrictions and preventative measures remain in place, with other new rules introduced to avoid a resurgence of the virus, Efe news reported.

New norms require the mandatory use of masks outdoors, health risk assessment codes on mobile phone apps and maintaining safe physical distances from others.

An increasingly large stream of people were emerging from their homes, excited to be allowed to walk the streets of the city as they run errands and eat and shop.

Streets were once again bustling in many parts of the city, such as Dazhilu, where bicycles, pedestrians and cars compete for space.

Retail outlets of phone companies – such as Apple, Vivo and Huawei – have also reopened, where people formed long queues.

Meanwhile, other people walk their dogs, take pictures, order food at takeaways or enjoy a stroll along a stretch overlooking the Yangtze River.

Some 620,000 passengers reportedly used the city’s public transport on the first day of restrictions being lifted in Wuhan on Tuesday.

According to the state-owned Xinhua agency, the demand for bus, boat, taxi and subway services witnessed a marked increase on Wednesday, after 76 days of quarantine.

The same day, some 52,000 passengers left Wuhan by train, plane or bus, while around 31,000 entered the city.

China’s National Health Commission on Wednesday reported only two deaths related to COVID-19 in the country, both in Wuhan, which also accounts for 135 of the remaining 176 critical patients.

The number of active COVID-19 infections has declined to 1,160 in China, according to official figures. Although 63 new cases were diagnosed on Wednesday – 61 of them from abroad -, the daily rate of recovered patients is much higher.

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in China since the start of the outbreak was now 3,339 out of the 82,919 total infections, while 77,370 recovered.

–IANS

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