Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Wuhan ends lockdown as health workers buckle under strain

Published:Wednesday | April 8, 2020 | 9:23 AM
A worker directs travelers wearing face masks and suits to protect against the spread of new coronavirus at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

LONDON (AP) — After 76 days in lockdown, the Chinese city at the heart of the global pandemic reopened Wednesday, and tens of thousands immediately hopped on trains and planes to leave.

Elsewhere, the economic, political and psychological toll of fighting the virus grew increasingly clear and more difficult to bear.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a second night in intensive care with his country in the grips of its biggest crisis since World War II.

The 55-year-old Johnson, the first major world leader confirmed to have COVID-19, was stable and responding to treatment, spokesman James Slack said.

Across the Atlantic, New York City endured one of its darkest days yet, with the death toll surging past 4,000, hundreds more than the number killed on 9/11. New York state recorded 731 new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, its biggest one-day jump yet, for a statewide total of nearly 5,500.

In Wuhan, the Chinese city of 11 million where the pandemic began, residents waved flags and the city staged a light show with skyscrapers and bridges radiating images of health workers helping patients.

Restrictions in the city where most of China’s more than 82,000 virus cases and over 3,300 deaths were reported have been gradually eased in recent weeks as new cases declined.

“I haven’t been outside for more than 70 days,” said Tong Zhengkun. “Being indoors for so long drove me crazy.”

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