China : even without looping, the fear remains in the cradle of the virus

Chine : même sans bouclage, la peur demeure dans le berceau du virus

“Always dangerous” : after two months of closure because of coronavirus, the restrictions are gradually being lifted in the region of china where appeared the pandemic, but the fear is still present among the inhabitants.

Life returns little by little, in Hubei, the province placed a de facto quarantine at the end of January with over 50 million inhabitants.

But the return to normal is still far to Huanggang, one of the cities most affected by the epidemic, even if its 7.5 million inhabitants are once again allowed to move, including outside of the province since Wednesday.

In a shopping street adorned with red lanterns, an army of deliverymen patient to retrieve orders in front of the restaurants. But customers are scarce and have not the right to eat inside.

A seller of pancakes met Thursday by the AFP explained under cover of anonymity that she returns to work after more than two months of confinement.

“I feel more free to” be able to get out of the house, “she says, regretting that the cases are” not as good as before “.

Chen Wenjun, a pharmacist for 22 years, takes over for its taste to the outputs. Mask on the face, she however remains on his guard.

“Even if many things are reopened, you should still be careful “, explains the young woman, accompanied by two friends near a food stall.

Hospital desert

Huanggang is located just south-east of Wuhan, the provincial capital, which has the greatest number of deaths in the Covid-19 (more than 2500).

At the edge of a road, a makeshift hospital now closed-just a reminder that this metropolis out of a dark period.

The construction of the medical Center Dabieshan was not yet completed when the epidemic broke out. But the walls were quickly completed and the equipment has been installed to cope with the influx of patients.

The last patients were discharged last week. The hospital is now dark and deserted.

Journalists from AFP saw protective equipment used lying on the floor, duvets and vials abandoned at the side of beds in empty rooms.

The electricity has been cut off after the departure of the last patients of the Covid-19, explains The Zhiqiang, the manager in charge of the construction of the hospital.

The epidemic now contained, the construction was resumed this week, ” he said to the AFP.

But the activity is still spinning at idle elsewhere in the city.

Most of the hotels remain closed and only a handful receives a limited number of clients. In the streets, many warnings remind us that the epidemic is not over.

The virus “in love”

“Get together to play cards is a suicide,” warns a red flag hung along the street, evoking an activity very popular with the retirees in China.

“If you don’t wear a mask, the virus will fall in love with you “, can we read on another message.

Since the appearance of the Covid-19 in December in Hubei, nearly 3,000 people have been infected in Huanggang and 125 died, according to authorities.

Taking advantage of the lifting of restrictions on the travel, many inhabitants are trying their luck to leave the city or province. Those of Wuhan, where the new coronavirus that appeared in late 2019, will have to wait until 8 April.

At the station, officers ordered passengers not to stand too close to each other. But some waiting rooms are full to the brim.

The AFP reporters were able to get out of the station, but only after having covered their protection mask with a second mask, on the order of the railway police.

Despite improvement, the situation in Huanggang is ” always dangerous “, is justified to an agent.