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BIZ IN GRAPHICS | Former epicenter of coronavirus outbreak slowly restarts its economic engine

Hubei province has gradually lifted travel restrictions and reopened public places as the number of active cases dropped below 1,000.

Local governments in China’s central Hubei province have recently announced staged measures to resume public transportation services and re-opening factories as part of policies to restart economic activity, after the entire province was put under strict lockdown for more than two months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Following the provincial order, Wuhan, the capital city and then epicenter of the outbreak of Hubei, started to gradually lift bans on sectors including transportation, courier services, manufacturing, among others, from last week on. More than 85% of the businesses have been back to work as of the end of March in Wuhan, one of the most important manufacturing and business hubs in central China.

Some tech companies in Wuhan have also summoned its employees to go back to office, as the city has reported no new cases for days on end.

For instance, smartphone and gadgets maker Xiaomi announced on March 30 that its branch office in Wuhan had officially returned to work, adding that the firm would dispense an “epidemic prevention and care package” for its employees which includes face masks, ethanol, hand sanitizer, and cash-loaded red envelopes.

The lockdown lift, coinciding with the across-the-board resumption of work in China, suggests that the country is on its way to recovering from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which is now running rampantly across more than 200 countries and regions around the world.

On Tuesday, China reported zero new deaths related to the coronavirus, the first time since January. However, other controls and prevention methods are still enforced as the country has also seen the number of asymptomatic and imported cases rise in the past week, as reported by Reuters.

As an important manufacturing hub and link in the global supply chain, Wuhan is home to many international factories. The city accounted for nearly 10% of vehicles produced in China.

Carmakers General Motors, Nissan, and Honda have factories in Wuhan, while brands like PepsiCo and German conglomerate Siemens have bases in the city and other parts of Hubei province, Business Insider pointed out.