Wuhan reopens after 76-day lockdown
People's lives, safety, health prioritized in war on COVID-19
Ending the lockdown of Wuhan, Hubei province, on Wednesday will become a milestone for China in securing final victory in the people's war against the COVID-19 outbreak under the command of President Xi Jinping, observers said.
The decisive measures that the Communist Party of China Central Committee－with Xi as its general secretary－have taken to help Wuhan fight the epidemic held the key to curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus in what was the hardest-hit city, as well as in the province and in the entire country, they said.
A constant theme has been "people first" in the fight against the contagion as Xi has stressed putting people's lives, safety and health as the top priority and placing the people's interests above everything else.
In his meeting with World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Jan 28 in Beijing, Xi said people's safety and their health always come first.
Recounting his experience of leading World Health Organization experts on a nine-day joint mission investigating COVID-19 in China, Canadian epidemiologist Bruce Aylward commended China's approaches in responding to the disease.
"If I had COVID-19, I'd want to be treated in China," he said. "They know and they care about keeping people alive, and they do it successfully."
While masterminding the epidemic prevention and control efforts, Xi gave Hubei, particularly Wuhan, the provincial capital, priority. He said that "when Wuhan wins, Hubei wins; when Hubei wins, China wins".
On Jan 23, the authorities in Wuhan announced the lockdown of the city. All public transportation and businesses were suspended, and residents were required to stay indoors to cut transmission in neighborhoods.
Putting such a huge city with over 10 million residents under quarantine was unprecedented but has proved to be effective. During his visit to Wuhan on March 10, Xi said all prevention and control measures adopted by the CPC Central Committee focus on preventing more people from being infected and are aimed at saving more patients' lives.