Post coronavirus, Wuhan sees mass exodus after 11 weeks of lockdown

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. Within hours of China lifting an 11-w

The exodus of people from the Chinese city of Wuhan got underway on Wednesday as an 11 week lockdown came to and end.

The coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan. Authorities cut off and shut down the city in a desperate bid to stop the disease from spreading. It still killed more than 2,500 people in Wuhan, by far the highest death toll in China, and grew into a pandemic.

Some people couldn’t wait to leave town. All of them wore face masks against the virus that had forced them to stay in their homes for more than two months.

Thousands boarded trains, planes and long-distance buses, finally able to return to their homes and jobs. Many had come to visit relatives during the Lunar New Year holiday in late January and were trapped when the coronavirus lockdown was announced with no advance warning.

Once the lockdown was lifted, drivers took to the roads and people went to parks and public plazas. Residents who wanted to enter a building or board a train were still checked to see if they were running a fever, though. The fear has subsided but not gone away.