Wuhan lifted the lockdown on April 8 to allow people to leave the central Chinese city for the first time since January 23 after the novel coronavirus was deemed highly contagious. While China has been able to contain the virus under strict lockdowns, the drastic rise in new imported cases has raised fears of the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.
China’s National Health Commission has reported 81,802 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,333 overall death toll in the country with a clear decline in the rate of infection. However, the imported coronavirus cases have risen sharply to 951 along with a worrying surge in asymptomatic cases.
Around 65,000 people reportedly left Wuhan, the epicentre of the first coronavirus outbreak, within hours of the lifting of the ban. Residents have been allowed to leave the city only with a special authorisation that requires a mandatory smartphone application that provides for government surveillance showing the travellers are healthy and have been in recent contact with anyone infected by the deadly virus.
With a rise in the number of imported coronavirus cases, China has tightened the border control measures in order to curb such cases. While the number of local cases has significantly declined in China, several other countries including the United States, France, Italy and Spain are still struggling to contain the virus.
According to the latest report, over 1.4 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with more than 82,000 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe. The United States, Italy, Spain, and France are the worst-hit countries due to the pandemic with around 64 per cent of death toll reported from these four countries alone.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a major public health crisis around the world and health care workers at the frontline are bearing the brunt of resource crunch. Scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, and hazmat suits has kept the health care workers vulnerable to exposure.
(Inputs, Image Credit: AP)