China Returns To Normalcy As Great Wall of China Reopens

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Great Wall of China reopened
Courtesy: Times24

The popular Badaling section of the Great Wall of China has opened its gates for the visitors after being shut for over two months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak that put the whole country in lockdown.

Ever since the first case of coronavirus was reported in the Wuhan province of China, the Chinese officials have proactively responded with measures to their best efforts to contain the spread. In the three months of the outbreak, China being the index country, has witnessed 81,285 confirmed cases of COVID-19. China also has the maximum number of recovered people from the disease at 74,051. However, Italy has so far seen the maximum number of deaths with 7,503.

By the end of January, China had locked down the whole country and sealed its borders for both incoming and outgoing traffic. The lockdown was strictly imposed and since it is an authoritative state, the citizens were in coordination with the state that helped the state to contain the spread despite being the largest populated country in the world.

Wuhan in lockdown
Courtesy: RFI

After recording zero cases for six days straight in the Wuhan province, China seems to have slowly returned to normalcy.

Great Wall of China reopened

After two months, the Great Wall of China is open for tourists. However, only a part of it, the Badaling section is currently opened. Observing the situation over the next few days, the authorities might consider opening it completely.

Starting from March 24th, the Badaling section will be open between 9 am to 4 pm and the number of visitors allowed per day will be capped at 19,500. On the first day, up until 2 pm, there were a total of 892 tickets reserved.

The visitors who are willing to visit need to book tickets through the official website or through WeChat in advance with their personal information. At the entry, the temperature of every visitor will be taken. A one-way circular route has been specifically designed to prevent large gatherings of crowds. The other sections like the cableway, the China Great Wall Museum, the ancient Great Wall are among the sections that will remain closed.

The Badaling section is the most popular section and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the earliest sections to open for tourists. In 2018 alone, the Badaling section received 9.9 million visitors.

Confusion remains even as Lockdown lifted

China lifted most of its travel restriction in the Hubei province that recorded more than 80 percent of the cases and 96 percent of COVID-19 deaths. The travel restriction was relaxed in other parts of the country including the city of Xianning city.

On the day the lockdown has lifted the people of Xianning city who were eager to travel faced a major hurdle. To cross the border, the travelers are expected to pass a rapid detection test to confirm that they aren’t infected with the coronavirus. Following this notification, the people rushed to hospitals. Some hospitals were run out of testing kits and directed the people to other hospitals leading to massive confusion.

Though lifting the lockdown came as a relief, a man who went back to work in Guangdong was later tested positive and that has caused panic again. Hence, the need to pass the rapid detection has been made mandatory. The Wuhan province continues to stay in lockdown until April 8th.

 

 

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Akarsh is an Author of Love Me Like You Do, an Amazon bestseller. He has his Short film 'Unloved' nominated for Dadasaheb Phalke award and screened in Bangalore screened at Bangalore international short film festival.

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