US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — They queue before opening their mouths for a sample from the back of their throat: worried after the appearance of new cases of Covid-19, the inhabitants of Wuhan obediently carry out a general screening.
Despite the rain, they crowd in medical tents set up in car parks, in parks or at the foot of buildings in the metropolis where the new coronavirus appeared at the end of 2019.
“It’s good. It’s a way of being responsible towards others and yourself,” said a 40-year-old man after being screened.
Already tested in early May, he said he wanted to re-screen because Wuhan, a city of 11 million inhabitants, was by far the most affected in China.
“If you have the opportunity, why not do it?”.
After discovering the human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus, China decided on January 23 to block all entry or exit from Wuhan – which is a large industrial center and a transportation hub.
The inhabitants were then forced to remain confined to their homes.
More than 3,800 people died from the Covid-19 in Wuhan according to the official toll – the vast majority of the deaths recorded in China.
The city’s closure was finally lifted in early April. Since then, life has gradually regained its rights.
– Integral combinations –
But the ambient optimism has been showered in recent days with the announcement of six new cases of Covid-19 in Wuhan, after a month without any additional contamination.
For fear of a second epidemic wave, the town hall then launched a general screening campaign.
Men, women, children and the elderly, dressed in full protective suits and equipped with plastic visors, now come to these medical tents where caregivers stick a swab in their throat.
Some Wuhans remain anxious, however.
“The security measures inside are really bad. People are too close to each other,” said a woman who does not want to reveal her name.
“The test taker is handling the samples from a lot of people, but I haven’t seen her wash her hands,” she says.
China has largely contained the Covid-19 on its territory. But it remains on the alert.
Because in addition to the six new cases of Wuhan, other foci of infection have appeared in recent weeks in the northeast of the country, bordering on Russia.
– “Prevent any rebound” –
Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Thursday at a Communist Party meeting to “leave nothing to chance” in the face of the Covid-19 and to “prevent any rebound,” according to the China News Agency.
“The hard-won results against the epidemic cannot in any case be reduced to nothing,” he warned, calling in particular to carry out the screening in Wuhan.
Despite the fear of a second wave, most Wuhans have resumed an almost normal life, however.
Wednesday evening, on a walk along the Yangtze River, dozens of people listened to folk music in a carefree manner.
Masked couples waddled under the lampposts, right next to a bridge lit with huge Chinese characters: “Courage Wuhan”.
“It’s so fun to come dance outside,” said Qiu Jumei, a 53-year-old hotel waitress.
“The atmosphere was not the same when I was dancing alone at home,” she says. “It’s much better here.”
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