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World One year after Wuhan, China is reconfiguring itself

09:10  22 january  2021
09:10  22 january  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

Pompeo: We 'don't know' if COVID-19 began in Wuhan lab, but all evidence says it started in China

  Pompeo: We 'don't know' if COVID-19 began in Wuhan lab, but all evidence says it started in China Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he did not know for sure if the coronavirus pandemic began through an accidental leak from a lab in Wuhan, though he defended the theory as plausible and argued that all of the available evidence indicated COVID-19 originated in China. © Provided by Washington Examiner Pompeo said that we “still don’t know the answer” about where specifically in Wuhan the coronavirus outbreak started during a Tuesday radio interview with conservative host Hugh Hewitt because the “Chinese Communist Party has now, for over a year, refused to allow anybody to get access to the information they need to figur

“ China is still struggling to deal with the fact that it is held responsible for the “original sin” of the outbreak, which undercuts virtually every WHO investigators who visited Wuhan earlier this year were not able to visit the food market linked to the initial outbreak. A new team is expected to head to

WUHAN : "People Supremacy, Life Supremacy" reads the sign at a Wuhan exhibition, where visitors are greeted by a paean to China 's triumph over the pandemic and the agility of its communist leadership in a crisis. Saturday marks one year since the start of a 76-day lockdown of Wuhan , the central

Des vendeurs de légumes devant l'entrée d'un complexe résidentiel qui a été vérouillé suite à l’apparition de nouveaux cas de Covid-19 à Shijiazhuang, dans la province de Hebei, en Chine, le 19 janvier 2021. © via REUTERS - STRINGER Vegetable sellers in front of the entrance of a residential complex which has been locked following the appearance of new cases of Covid-19 in Shijiazhuang, in Hebei province, China, January 19, 2021.

With the approach of the Lunar New Year, and the great migrations of the Spring Festival holidays, the Chinese authorities are tightening health restrictions. The discovery of epidemic foci in the north of the country, especially in Hebei province and in some districts of Beijing, forced millions of Chinese to stay at home, like last winter in Hubei province, the cradle of the pandemic.

WHO Team Arrives in Wuhan, But Will We Ever Know the Origin of Coronavirus?

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China : Wuhan one year on. Hebei: New COVID hotspot. Most of the locally transmitted cases were found in China 's northeastern Hebei province The growing outbreak in Hebei has also triggered concerns that the coronavirus might further spread to the capital as the province borders Beijing.

Government records suggest first person infected with new disease may have been a Hubei resident aged 55, but ‘patient zero’ has yet to be confirmed. Documents seen by the Post could help scientists track the spread of the disease and perhaps determine its source.

from our correspondent in Beijing,

Notes are still running in this music institute in northern Beijing, but as of this weekend, the piano is over, explains this Korean teacher: “Classes stop. We were informed that night. Like all schools in Beijing, we have been asked to close. »

No more singing, schools are closed. The school holidays started almost three weeks early. This Lunar New Year 2021 was supposed to be the time to get back to normal, it is actually nothing ordinary. Starting with the residents of Hebei who saw their lives change rapidly after emerged from new cases of contamination during marriage. The latter can forget the chunjié holidays, the traditional and family holiday of spring in China. Since January 6, 11 million inhabitants of the capital of this province surrounding Beijing have been confined.

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More than a year since the coronavirus pandemic began, while a surprising -- and frustrating -- number of points remain unclear, one thing is certain: the first major outbreak was in the central Chinese city of Wuhan .

That China is able to pull something like this off is thanks to the ability of a centralized, powerful leadership to react in a crisis. Many observers have speculated that some officials will be punished in the days and weeks to come, especially after Wuhan Mayor Zhou Xianwang admitted on state TV

"The city lockdown prevents me from working," said Li Dawei, 31. I cannot leave my home and for a self-employed person that means I have no income during the period of isolation. If it lasts too long it will be difficult, but with my friends, we remain optimistic for now. Authorities are believed to quickly bring the outbreak under control.

Race against time

It is true that the speed of the reaction in Hebei contrasts with the start of the epidemic in Wuhan a year ago. In a few days, nursing staff from the coast came to reinforce the teams responsible for testing the populations; tens of thousands of villagers in the countryside have been transported to temporary quarantine centers; access points to the Chinese capital are hermetically filtered.

Near Beijing's Fifth Ring Road, small mountains of packages are spread out at the feet of the scooters. The packages take a long time to arrive, entrust the delivery men in red and white. “The service takes longer because the warehouses are located in the infected areas of Daxing and Shunyi,” explains one of them. All these packages that you see there are late. Packages shipped from outside of Beijing take longer. At least two or three days from Hebei. That's how it is, the traffic is blocked. »

Revisiting Wuhan a year after the coronavirus hit the city

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Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared at something approaching the frontlines of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak Monday, in what appeared to be an attempt to stifle criticism of the authorities' handling of the crisis.

China 's success in controlling the coronavirus is not so much a product of those early control measures -- though these have been utilized effectively to halt regional And while China was criticized for its initial handling of the epidemic in Wuhan -- censoring news and downplaying its seriousness -- once it

Highways closed, trains that remain in stations and confined doors sealed by health authorities: the videos on the Sina Weibo network at the start of 2021 definitely have an air of déjà vu, de déjà vu. China has the experience of clusters. In Shijiazhuang, there was no panic, no rush to supermarkets, Li Dawei said. Even if confinement, in real life, we never really get used to.

"Here it's like in Wuhan last year ," says the 30-year-old. The measurements are the same, but people are less worried. The blockade of the city was a sudden decision, we are not all prepared. Food supplies are fine. We can have a delivery and we can buy food products inside the residences. For the pharmacy, however, it is more complicated. Me for example, I have a toothache. I need an anti-inflammatory. But since it's classified as a cold medicine, I can't get it. That would have required me to get a prescription before lockdown began. »

Dissuade travelers

Be patient and wait. Like many Hebei residents, a large chunk of residents in the Chinese capital will be staying at home for the Lunar New Year. The authorities strongly recommend it, and for those who still want to leave, a negative test before departure for the province is required to which is added 14 days of quarantine on arrival in the family province.

The number of new cases remains low in China compared to the epidemic in the West, but this winter Covid outbreak is the strongest recorded in the country since Wuhan. Pekingese know music. Many are hoping for a lifting of travel restrictions after the Chinese parliament meets in March.

Bereaved son calls on WHO team in China not to be 'fooled' during Covid mission .
"If the science is allowed to speak, it will help heal this wound and help us move on," scientist Peter Daszak told NBC News."If you only work behind the doors with government officials, going to places and reading documents arranged by them, you will be easily fooled," said Zhang, who said his father died in February 2020 after going into hospital for a routine fracture operation and contracting the virus.

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