Wuhan: China on Wednesday lifted the lockdown in Wuhan after 73 days, ending its painful isolation due to COVID-19 outbreak. Wuhan was the origin point and epicenter of coronavirus as the first cases of the deadly infection were reported from this Chinese city. Also Read - What After Lockdown Gets Lifted? Will There be Another Phase? This is What Wuhan Has Done

On January 23, Wuhan declared unprecedented traffic restrictions, including suspending the city’s public transport and all outbound flights and trains, in an attempt to contain the epidemic. Also Read - China Begins Withdrawal of Medical Staff From Wuhan After City Records Just One New Case

The Wuhan lockdown was lifted even as epidemiologists warned that it is not the time to completely lower the guard and ease on full-scale restrictions, considering the looming asymptomatic patients and possible rebound in infections, the official media reported. Also Read - Coronavirus is 'Made in China', Wuhan Tried to Cover it up: US

As the lockdown was lifted, tens of thousands of people from Wuhan began leaving the city on Wednesday. The government has lifted the ban on road, air and train travel for all the locals who have acquired health certificates.

Flight attendants would provide masks for passengers if they had fever, cough and other symptoms, and record their personal information and contact history within 14 days, PTI reported.

The central Hubei province has already lifted all the travCars queued up at expressway toll gates and passengers prepared to board trains to leave Wuhan as the megacity started lifting outbound travel restrictions, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

As more enterprises resume their operations, Wuhan has seen an increase of nearly 400,000 vehicles in transit in the past half month, and the number is expected to reach 1.8 million after Wednesday, according to the city’s traffic police.

Traffic police will release real-time traffic information through radio stations, online social platforms, and map apps.

At Wuchang Railway Station in the city, 442 passengers jumped on the train K81 early Wednesday, which is heading for Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province.

More than 55,000 passengers are expected to leave Wuhan by train on Wednesday, and about 40 per cent of them are going to the Pearl River Delta Region. Over 270 passenger trains will leave Wuhan for Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities, Xinhua report said.

The Chinese health authority said today that 62 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported on the Chinese mainland on Tuesday, including 59 cases of people returning from abroad, taking the total tally to 1,042.

Three new domestic cases were reported, including two in Shandong Province and one in Guangdong Province, the National Health Commission (NHC) said.

Also on Tuesday, 137 new asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were reported and 1,095 asymptomatic cases were still under medical observation, the NHC said.

Asymptomatic coronavirus cases are those who test positive for the virus but do not show any symptoms and have the potential to cause sporadic clusters of infections.

Two deaths were reported on Tuesday, with one in Shanghai and the other in Hubei Province, taking the overall death toll in the country to 3,333, it said.

On Monday, the NHC reported no deaths for the first time after it began publishing COVID-19 daily reports since January this year.

The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 81,802 by Tuesday, including 1,190 patients still being treated, 77,279 patients discharged after recovery, and 3,333 people died of the disease.

(With PTI inputs)