First plane and train arrive in Wuhan after lockdown was lifted

First plane and train arrive in Wuhan after the city lifted draconian coronavirus lockdown for 76 days

  • Incredible videos show the first plane and first train arriving in Wuhan today
  • China sealed off the city on January 23 after the COVID-19 outbreak escalated
  • The former epicentre lifted travel restrictions following a sharp drop in cases
  • At 00.50am on Wednesday trains carrying people out of the city began running 

Residents of Wuhan have welcomed the first flight and first train to arrive in the city after officials lifted a 76-day draconian lockdown aimed at preventing the novel coronavirus.

China placed strict travel restrictions on the former epicentre on January 23, closing all 75 points of entry.

But at 00.50am on Wednesday, trains carrying people out of the city began running, and major highways also began opening up in the city of 11 million. 

The long-haul passenger train K81 became the first train to pass through Wuhan as it arrived in Wuchang railway station at 50 minutes past midnight today

It came after the city of Wuhan reported just two new infections in the past 14 days. 

But Chinese authorities are treading a very fine line between granting more freedom of movement to citizens and guarding against a second wave of infections. 

Xiamen Air flight 8095 became the first commercial plane to touch down in Wuhan. Footage shows the aircraft being welcomed with a dramatic water salute after it landed at 7.19am local time.

The long-haul passenger train K81 became the first train to pass through Wuhan as it arrived in Wuchang railway station at 50 minutes past midnight.

It set off from the city of Xi’an, capital of north-western Shaanxi Province, on a 1,000-mile journey to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province in southern China, carrying 442 passengers. 

Xiamen Air flight 8095 became the first commercial plane to touch down in Wuhan. Footage shows the aircraft being welcomed with a dramatic water salute after it landed at 8.30am

Chinese state media says at least 11,000 air passengers have left via Wuhan’s airport today, while 55,000 boarded trains out of the city’s three railway stations.

Motorways were also jam-packed as thousands of cars queued at toll stations waiting for officials to open expressways at the stroke of midnight.

When the lockdown was lifted the topic quickly began trending on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform.

‘Wuhan lifts lockdown’ and ‘Welcome back Wuhan’ were posted.  

Passengers queue at Wuhan city’s main rail station as the lockdown is lifted after 76 days

Medical workers from Jilin Province (in red) hug with those of Wuhan (in while) as they bid a tearful farewell today after they battled together to contain the novel coronavirus epidemic

The majority of departing residents are thought to be migrant workers returning to the Pearl River Delta, which includes major production hubs such as Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou.

However, some are fleeing the city over fears that a recent increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases may lead to a secondary outbreak – and another lengthy lockdown, reports say.

At the height of the virus, Wuhan’s lockdown saw citizens forced into their homes by authorities.

And transport hubs and streets were desolate except for police patrols and emergency workers. 

But at 00.50am on Wednesday, trains carrying people out of the city began running, and major highways also began opening up as China’s lockdown on Wuhan was lifted. Chinese youths record a dance routine on the streets of Wuhan today after the lockdown is removed

A woman wearing a protective face mask and pink overalls stands with her luggage next to the first official train departing from Wuhan

But restrictions in the city have dropped off in recent days as new infections significantly fell. 

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, mainland China reported no Covid-19-related deaths on Tuesday.

China’s National Health Commission confirmed 62 new coronavirus cases today, 59 of which are said to be imported.

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