Wuhan gathers to celebrate music festival two years after pandemic struck


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People in Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged, lived through more than two months of stringent restrictions

Thousands of people attended the first day of the Wuhan Strawberry Music Festival on Saturday.

In warm conditions on the first day of a five-day May Day national holiday revelers in the central Chinese city danced, bounced and screamed with delight as some of their favorite acts took the stage.

The festival was making a return in Wuhan after it was forced to be online only last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A representative for the organisers told Reuters that numbers were being restricted this year, adding that around 11,000 people were there on Saturday. Barriers were set up in front of each stage and security personnel restricted numbers in those areas. Some spectators wore masks, but many did not.

People in Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged, lived through more than two months of stringent restrictions during the world’s first coronavirus-induced lockdown. Since then the city has been almost completely virus-free, according to official data. That and the general trend in recent months in the country, which has only reported a few sporadic outbreaks, has greatly eased fears in China about the virus.

“Last year we (in Wuhan) suffered from the coronavirus,” said 23-year-old student and Wuhan resident Gao Yuchen.

“It has not been easy to get to where we are today. People here have put in huge efforts and paid a big price (for being hit with the virus). So I feel very excited to be here (at the festival),” Gao said.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 90,671, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,636, many of whom were Wuhan residents. – Reuters



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