Original COVID-19 Epicenter Wuhan, China Eases Travel Restrictions

Grant M. Gallagher

The city of Wuhan, China has eased controls on travel outside of the city after a lengthy lockdown.

The city of Wuhan, China, has lifted transportation control measures and resumed external traffic.

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in late December as a cluster of pneumonia with unknown etiology in the city of Wuhan.

The city became the epicenter of the outbreak in China and was locked down for months. Residents and travelers lived under a quarantine that included strict measures like limitations on the number of times per week that a residence could be left.

Although 32 new cases were confirmed in the country on Tuesday, it was the first day since January that China reported no new deaths

Wuhan is located in the central Chinese province of Hubei. Hubei has publicly reported 67,803 confirmed cases and 3212 deaths of patients with COVID-19, though US intelligence officials have argued that China has understated the spread and damage of the virus.

The Chinese government itself does not, however, intend to declare victory over the virus quite yet.

“In order to deeply implement the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping ’s important instructions…the Central Guiding Group once again held a meeting to study the deployment of measures after the release of control of departures from the Han Channel on April 8, and urged the implementation of various measures for epidemic prevention and control. The Central Guiding Group traveled to stations, shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, etc. to investigate epidemic prevention and control,” authors of a statement on Xinhuanet wrote.

As several countries cautiously relax social distancing, public health officials will now be able to observe the impact of these policies as well as the course the pandemic takes once they’ve been lifted.

Jason Gallagher, PharmD, FCCP, FIDP, FIDSA, BCPS, Clinical Professor at Temple University School of Pharmacy, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Infectious Diseases at Temple University Hospital, and editor-in-chief of Contagion®, had a succinct response:

And now, we watch.

— Jason Gallagher (@JGPharmD) April 7, 2020

Indeed. Watching multiple sites in Asia.

— Neil Clancy (@ClancyNeil) April 7, 2020