Thousands attend music festival in Wuhan, 16 months after Covid first emerged there

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<p>Fans attend a performance of a rock band at the Strawberry Music Festival during Labour Day holiday in Wuhan, China</p> (Reuters)

Fans attend a performance of a rock band at the Strawberry Music Festival during Labour Day holiday in Wuhan, China

(Reuters)

A little more than a year after the first case of Covid-19 was detected in Wuhan, China, thousands of citizens attended an outdoor music festival that kicked off in the city on Saturday.

The Wuhan Strawberry Music Festival returned to Central China’s Hubei province after it had to be held online in 2020 because of the limitations due to the pandemic.

The number of attendees was limited this year with up to 11,000 people attending the festival and there were barriers in front of each stage with security personnel guarding the area, reported Reuters.

In 2020, Wuhan residents survived over two months of restrictions during the world’s first Covid-19 lockdown.

Since then, official reports have shown that the city has nearly become infection-free. The two-day event brought together homegrown artists and groups in Wuhan’s Garden Expo park.

Other Strawberry Music Festival events are likewise being held in different Chinese cities, including Beijing.

“This is my first time at an event like this held outdoors. I really like the atmosphere,” 29-year-old local Zhang Hongkai told Reuters.

Karen Woods, a political commentator, tweeted: “People in Wuhan gather for its annual outdoor Strawberry Music Festival. The city and the rest of China are mostly COVID 19 free. I still get nervous when a large crowd gathers with no mask or social distance though. China’s borders remain closed.”

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The country’s health authority said on Saturday that mainland China reported 16 new positive cases of coronavirus on 30 April, which was up from 13 cases a day earlier.

Since the start of the pandemic, China has recorded 103,649 cases of Covid-19 including 4,858 deaths.

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