Wuhan crowds pack together for New Year's Eve one year after Covid detected

Crowds of people packed together in Wuhan this evening to celebrate New Year’s Eve exactly one year after coronavirus was discovered in the city.

Images from the city, which has not reported a locally transmitted case of Covid since May, showed people carrying balloons and wearing face masks as they saw in 2021 on the streets.

A concert took place by the city’s philharmonic orchestra, while revellers could also attend a cyberpunk electronic festival or watch a light show along the Yangtze River, which runs through the area.

Several people were spotted heading into nightclubs, which have been open since September, for an evening of drinking and dancing.

Wuhan, the capital city of China’s Hubei province, first reported a cluster of cases of Covid-19 on December 31 in 2019, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) setting up an IMST (Incident Management Support Team) on New Year’s Day.

The city abruptly locked down it’s 11 million residents on January 23, and emerged 76 days later in April. The first infection outside of China was recorded in Thailand, on January 13.

Records indicate around more than 4,500 people have died from the virus within Hubei, while more than 1.8 million have died across the globe, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Wednesday, China has reported a total of 87,027 confirmed coronavirus infections, 356 of which are active, while the nation’s death toll remains at 4,634.

Most areas across the China enjoyed a subdued New Year’s Eve tonight, with big events and fireworks displays called off in a bid to disperse crowds. Beijing and Shenyang have both seen small outbreaks of Covid in recent weeks.

Shanghai Disneyland went ahead with a planned firework display, but Beijing and Guangzhou both cancelled their annual light shows.

China will also celebrate Chinese New Year, which is considered a major holiday in the nation, on February 12.

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