Life in China, where the new deadly coronavirus emerged, slowly returns to normal, as the virus spreads across the rest of the world.
Countries across Europe have imposed strict lockdowns and travel restrictions. Markets suffered heavy damage. EU leaders on Tuesday agreed to close the borders for 30 days. Italy is the most affected country after China with more than 2,000 deaths. Spain is second with nearly 500 deaths.
However, in China, people are returning to work, schools and restaurants are reopening and traffic is going back to normal as the government is slowly lifting restrictions. Restrictions on large gatherings are still imposed.
13 out of 34 provinces in China have cleared their remaining cases, and approximately 69,000 of 81,000 confirmed cases have been discharged. A top economic official said Tuesday that 90% of businesses outside Hubei were operating again.
During a visit to the epicenter city of Wuhan, president Xi Jinping declared that China had “turned the tide”. However, there are worries that as soon as the measures are lifted, China might be hit by a second wave of infection, as the virus is now a global pandemic.
Analysts say that the costs of the pandemic will become clearer in the coming weeks and months as the measure have pushed many businesses to near-bankruptcy.
Nearly 200,000 people have contracted the infection worldwide. Of these, more than 7,000 have died, and nearly 80,000 recovered.