Some Cities in China’s Coronavirus Epicenter Partially Lift Lockdown Measures

March 12, 2020 Updated: March 12, 2020

Five local governments within Hubei province, where the novel coronavirus outbreak in China is most severe, announced that lockdown measures would be partially lifted.

On March 12, the cities of Qianjiang, Jingzhou, and Shishou, and the counties of Gong’an and Zhuxi, announced that they would allow limited travel and resumption of business activities.

Since late January, authorities enacted lockdown measures on Hubei residents, in order to contain the virus. Such policies included public transportation bans; restrictions on when and how often people could leave their homes; and stringent traffic checkpoints.

But coinciding with Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to coronavirus ground zero Wuhan on March 10, his first since the outbreak began, authorities began to ease restrictions.

The Hubei government announced that local regions could allow limited travel, based on a new system whereby residents will download an app onto their phones and input their health information.

The app will then assign a color code based on one’s health condition: green, yellow, or red—which corresponds to different levels of mobility. Authorities at checkpoints would allow or deny passage to residents.

For example, Shishou City announced that those with the green code would be allowed to enter or leave housing estates and public venues.

But there appeared to be miscalculations along the way.

Qianjiang city announced on March 10 that all public transportation would be resumed, business firms reopened, and traffic checkpoints removed. That made the city the first in Hubei to lift lockdown measures.

But just a day later, Qianjiang authorities rescinded the notice and said all transportation and personal travel will again be restricted.

And on March 12, Qianjiang again lifted, though partially, the restrictions.

In recent days, the Chinese regime has aggressively pushed the narrative that the epidemic has been successfully contained.

Chinese authorities ramped up publishing media articles that portray their containment efforts in a positive light.

The goal is to “promote government policies,” “monitor public opinion online,” “discover exemplary models among the frontlines of epidemic control work,” and “create a strong atmosphere of people united in working together,” according to an internal document from Shanghai authorities that was obtained by The Epoch Times.

But locals in Wuhan say that many are still sick.

A Wuhan doctor’s spouse told Epoch Times affiliate NTD in an interview that some patients who were released from local hospitals hadn’t actually recovered, and later transmitted the virus to their neighbors in Hanyang district.

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