Wuhan continues to slowly resume daily life ten weeks after an outbreak of the coronavirus sprung to life in what has become a global pandemic that has crippled the world economy and killed tens of thousands of people. But life in Wuhan is still far from normal, as fear of the virus still grips residents, and businesses struggle to regain footing. While the country reported 63 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, a remarkable decline compared to the peak of infections, many are concerned about a possible second wave of infections, especially from "silent carriers" of the virus who might not display any outward symptoms.
Earlier in the week, China's State Council published new rules to prevent asymptomatic carriers from spreading the disease, including requiring anyone who has come in contact with confirmed "silent carriers" to quarantine for 2 weeks, and requiring medical institutions to report asymptomatic cases within two hours of discovery.
China has also developed an app to help make a return to "normal life". To take public transportation, enter shopping malls, or check into a hotel, Wuhan residents are required to show a green "health code" on their mobile phones to verify that they are symptom-free. A red code would mean that someone was infected or had symptoms, and a yellow code would mean that the person needed to be quarantined.
Meanwhile, as the United States reports over 17,000 deaths from the coronavirus, Republican lawmakers are striking a stronger tone against China, calling for a case against China to be brought before the United Nations International Court of Justice. They say that "if China's leaders hadn't become embarrassed by the outbreak and tried to cover up its spread, the world may have had a better chance to prepare for this." Responding indirectly, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that "some U.S. officials just want to shift the blame" and defended China's numbers as "open and transparent."
The U.S. has seen 16 million new unemployment claims in the last three weeks, and President Trump continues to push for the U.S. economy to open, repeatedly saying that it will spring to life like a "rocket ship." However, China's sluggish recovery sends warning signals that the road ahead may be slightly more perilous. Not only does the pandemic need to be firmly under control, but widespread testing and therefore accurate data are still a distant prospect in the United States. "What we need now is not to look back, but to look forward and to rebuild collaborative means to confront this health emergency," writes former U.S. Ambassador Carla Hills for China-US Focus.
Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China every week, while adding a dose of historical perspective.