Chinese state media hit back at criticism of a busy music festival at a water park in the city of Wuhan, the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Global Times outlet called the reactions “sour grapes” and took the chance to celebrate the apparent success of Wuhan’s lockdown.
Wuhan went under the world’s first coronavirus lockdown — and also one of its strictest.
Hubei — the region where Wuhan is the capital — has not recorded any domestically transmitted cases since mid-May.
Most countries that have largely controlled their outbreaks still insist on face coverings and social distancing, both of which were absent in footage from the party.
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Chinese state media dismissed foreign social-media criticism of a massive party in the city of Wuhan as “sour grapes” from places unable to get their COVID-19 outbreaks under control.
Thousands gathered in a water park in the city for an electronic music festival over the weekend, with photos of the event showing closely packed crowds and no face coverings.
The event received global media attention, with some reports calling the images “shocking” and noting the lack of distancing.
Social-media users compared the scenes with the starkly different situation in many other nations, with even countries that have got their coronavirus outbreaks under control still banning large gatherings while also enforcing other measures meant to limit infection.
The Global Times, a combative tabloid controlled by the Chinese state, noted the criticism and pushed back.
It said the reaction “exposed overseas ‘sour grapes’ and also prompted some to reflect on epidemic control in their own countries.”
And it countered that many viewed the party as a sign Wuhan’s lockdown and other steps to control the virus had worked, allowing things to return closer to normal there.
Chinese authorities say there have been no domestically transmitted cases of the coronavirus in Hubei, the province of which Wuhan is the capital, since mid-May.
Some people highlighted the contrast between life in Wuhan and much of the rest of the world, while others appeared angry that the city where the virus was first recorded was experiencing normality.
—Stacey 🇬🇧 #KBF 🇬🇧 Animal lover (@Love_Nature2020) August 20, 2020
Wuhan was the first place to record cases of the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was the first city in the world to be put under lockdown in an attempt to stop the virus’ spread.
The city’s 11 million residents were put into an unprecedented 76-day lockdown that ended April 7. The lockdown was one of the strictest implemented anywhere in the world, with people mostly required to stay in their homes.
Wuhan has not gone back into a full lockdown since, and normal life has largely resumed. But it has recorded localized outbreaks that meant some restrictions were introduced and some areas were locked down again.
Wuhan’s lockdown began when only a handful of countries had recorded their first coronavirus cases, and there were few signs the virus would result in a pandemic.
By the time Wuhan’s lockdown was lifted, many countries had started to battle devastating outbreaks and were under lockdown themselves.
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