Residents of Wuhan, the original epicentre of coronavirus, are now free to move in out of the Chinese city after authorities lifted a coronavirus lockdown that lasted 11 weeks.

According to Al Jazeera, nearly 65,000 left the city by train and plane within hours after the lockdown being lifted.

While the residents are free to move about without special authorisation, the Chinese government has put in place measures to minimise recurrence of the virus. Residents have a smartphone application powered by a mix of data-tracking and government surveillance that will show one’s status and if they have been in contact with an infected person.

The milestone was marked with celebrations with buildings radiating animated pictures of health workers aiding patients as residents waved flags whilst chanting “Wuhan let’s go.”

Wuhan had been sealed off since January 23 in an effort to contain the outbreak. According to the National Health Commission, Wuhan reported more that 50,000 infections and over 2,500 deaths.

During the lockdown, public transport in the city was suspended and businesses closed down as millions of residents were confined indoors. They were not even allowed to go out to buy grocery.

With the lockdown lifted, officials urged the citizens to remain vigilant on the epidemic and take the necessary precautionary measures such as wearing masks. Residents also have to produce a green QR code and a letter from their employer.

Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the state-run Health Times on Thursday that China had not seen the end of the epidemic.
“China is not near the end, but has entered a new stage. With the global epidemic raging, China has not reached the end,” he said.