The lockdown in the Hubei province of China outside of Wuhan is set to be lifted following nearly two months of quarantine.
“From 00:00, on March 25, the control outside the Hubei Province was lifted from outside of Wuhan, and the external traffic was resumed in an orderly manner,” an official government announcement, initially published in Chinese, explains.
Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, will remain under lockdown until midnight on April 8, 2020.
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At the height of the pandemic, China was reporting thousands of confirmed cases a day, leading to the nearly immediate creation of temporary hospitalization facilities, which are now closing due to lack of demand.
Schools and colleges within the province will remain closed, the announcement explains, and the specific start time will be determined following a scientific assessment of which measures to take to hinder the further spread of coronavirus as well as how the situation can be best controlled.
The province previously instructed all residents to obtain a colour-coded QR code on their mobile devices — red, yellow, and green — which acts as an indicator of that individuals’ health status, according to CNN.
Residents receive a colour in accordance with the provincial epidemic control database.
Those who have been confirmed as having coronavirus, or are suspected of being infected, as well as people classified as asymptomatic cases or those with a fever, are assigned a red colour code.
Those who have been in close contact with the people previously mentioned are assigned a yellow code, and those without symptoms or any record in the database receive a green code, which implies that they are healthy and able to travel.
This system will be used to assess who will be permitted to enter and leave the Hubei Province freely.
People outside the province will be allowed entry if they can prove that they have a green QR code without requiring any additional paperwork, according to the announcement.
Employees will also be permitted to return to work, and companies are encouraged to maintain policies that will hinder a rebound of coronavirus infections.
“It is necessary to make overall arrangements for the return of personnel stranded in Han and Hubei, and to refine the work arrangements to ensure a safe and orderly flow,” the announcement states.
“It is necessary to actively and orderly promote the resumption of work and production of enterprises and institutions, strive to minimize the losses caused by the epidemic, and strive to enter the normal economic and social development of the province as soon as possible.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, China still has 81,591 confirmed cases of coronavirus.