Indians still in Wuhan say asymptomatic cases raise fears of 2nd wave of coronavirus
Beijing/Wuhan: A few gutsy Indians who stayed put in Wuhan are back at work after a strict 76-day lockdown, but are still worried about the possibility of a second wave of attack by the vicious coronavirus, going by the growing number of asymptomatic cases in the country.
Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, made global headlines on Sunday as the last COVID-19 patient was discharged, marking an important milestone in the city’s fight against the invisible enemy, while India and several other countries are still under strict lockdown to curb the spread of the disease that has claimed over 210,000 lives worldwide.
With 50,333 confirmed cases and 3,869 deaths, Wuhan bore the brunt of the highly-infectious virus which first emerged there in December last year and spread like wildfire in the city of 11 million people before turning into a global pandemic, virtually bringing the world to a grinding halt.
Wuhan, which became famous in India for the historic first informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2018, is a major international educational centre and industrial hub with some of China’s famous scientific research centres and laboratories, attracting students from India and abroad.
After the virus outbreak, over 600 Indian students and professionals were evacuated in February by the Indian government to ensure their safety but few Indians chose to stay put and opted to brave the crisis through for professional and personal reasons.
Some of them spoke candidly on the present situation in Wuhan but on the condition of anonymity when PTI contacted them to find out their impressions as the city limped back to normalcy after facing the worst public health crisis in modern history.
“Yes, the lockdown was lifted on April 8 and more and more people ventured out but only for work and to buy the essentials. Most of the people stayed at home due to fear of asymptomatic cases,” an Indian researcher said.
China’s National Health Commission (NHC), which issues a daily COVID-19 update, has said that no new cases or deaths have been reported in Wuhan for the past several days.
On Monday, 40 new asymptomatic cases, including three from abroad, were reported in China. So far 997 asymptomatic cases, including 130 from abroad, were still under medical observation, the NHC said on Tuesday.
Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, had 599 asymptomatic cases under medical observation by Monday.