The Chinese city of Wuhan, once the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, had its streets full of people at midnight to celebrate the arrival of the new year. Just about a year ago, the first outbreak of the Covid-19 was reported. The virus since then has spread all over the world and killed around 1.8million people and counting, causing a worldwide pandemic to be announced.
Wuhan, which went into strict lockdown from January to early April, has been largely virus-free for months, and in recent days it has also been vaccinating some specific groups of the local population. But a recent small rise in cases in various Chinese cities, including Beijing, has reminded people in Wuhan that the pandemic is not over yet.
Images show thousands of people gathering at Wuhan’s city centre for the annual countdown; people dancing at nightclubs jammed close together; parades all across China.
In his New Year address, Chinese President Xi Jinping praised the efforts of his people. The communist ruler said that China has written an epic in fighting Covid-19 as the country put people and lives first and fought the epidemic with unity and perseverance. He commended his people, calling them great heroes. “Every person is remarkable!” he said. Paying tribute to medics, he added, “They pooled their drops of strength into tremendous power and built an iron wall to safeguard lives."
While in other famous cities around the world, fireworks soared into the skies of London, Moscow, Sydney, Dubai - but the streets themselves were deserted and ghost-town like. There was quiet and not much cheer since the world remains sombre with constant bad news of the coronavirus.
While the UK, Europe, US and several other countries are battling with this new strain - countries like New Zealand which has done a commendable job with dealing with the virus, celebrated a comparatively normal NYE celebration.
Wuhan, where this pandemic began, has been successful in stamping the virus out - with their severe lockdowns and absolutely no wiggle room.