04:49 GMT03 April 2020
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    The lockdown in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where COVID-19 first broke out in December, will end in around two weeks, the provincial government announced on Tuesday.

    Traffic control measures instituted in the province of Hubei - of which Wuhan is the capital - will also be lifted Wednesday, although people will require a QR code issued by the provincial government certifying they are healthy before they can move around the province, the South China Morning Post reported. A meeting last week by the Standing Committee of the Central Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China urged Wuhan and other parts of Hubei to begin lifting lockdown measures in a systematic and organized way, the South China Morning Post reported. 

    Other Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Shenzhen, have said that people arriving from Hubei with the QR code will no longer have to undergo 14 days of self-quarantine. 

    As China appears to have contained the virus, the country is slowly starting to resume normal life. Two car factories in Wuhan, namely Dongfeng Toyota and Dongfeng Motor, restarted production on Monday. 

    In addition, doctors sent to Hubei from across China have begun returning to their home provinces in the last week. 

    Wuhan University law professor Qin Qianhong recently told the South China Morning Post that it is important to lift the quarantine measures in Hubei as soon as possible.

    “No country other than Italy has imposed similar lockdowns so far. Many people have been confined to their homes for more than 60 days already, and that could cause serious mental health issues,” he said, also noting that many people under lockdown could not be able to sustain a living without returning to their jobs. However, he also warned that new infections may arise as the lockdown is lifted.

    Wuhan reported one new coronavirus infection on Tuesday following a few days of no reported new cases, according to the South China Morning Post. However, outside of Wuhan, there were 78 new cases of the coronavirus in China on Monday, the National Health Commission announced. Out of the total new cases, 74 involved Chinese people who had been traveling abroad. Only three cases, including the one in Wuhan, were local transmission infections.

    The government in Beijing announced Tuesday that anyone entering the city from overseas must undergo centralized quarantine and health checks, Reuters reported.

    The virus’s epicenter has shifted from China to Europe and the US in recent weeks. According to the latest data by World Meters, there are more than 408,000 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, and more than 18,000 people have died as a result. Italy, the US and Spain have been hit particularly hard, with at least 69,176, 49,594 and 39,676 confirmed cases, respectively.

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