WUHAN, China, April 8, 2020 (AFP) – Voicing joy and excitement from behind face masks, tens of thousands of people fled Wuhan on Wednesday after a 76-day travel ban was lifted on the Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged.
Previously quiet train and bus stations bustled as an exodus began from the city of 11 million, with some passengers wearing hazmat suits.
Hao Mei, a single parent from the nearby city of Enshi, said her two children had been home alone since she got stuck in Wuhan, where she works in a school kitchen.
“You have no idea! I was already up around 4 am. I felt so good. My kids are so excited. Mum is finally coming home,” the 39-year-old told AFP as she waited to board a train.
“At the start of the lockdown, I cried every night. I was really miserable, because my little girl is still young, she’s only 10.”
Up to 55,000 people are expected to leave Wuhan on Wednesday just by train, according to government estimates.
More details on Thursday’s Borneo Bulletin