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Thousands of celebrations attend the Wuhan Music Festival

Thousands of people attended the first day of the Wuhan Strawberry Music Festival on Saturday.

In hot conditions the first day of a five-day May Day national holiday party in central Chinese city, people danced, jumped and screamed with joy as some of their favorite acts took the stage.

The festival returned to Wuhan after it was first forced to go online last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A representative of the organizers told Reuters that the number was limited this year, adding that about 11,000 people were there on Saturday. Barriers were created in front of each step, and security personnel limited the number in these areas. Some spectators wore masks, but many did not.

People in Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged, lived for more than two months with severe restrictions during the world’s first coronavirus-induced lockdown. Since then, the city has been almost completely virus-free, according to official data. That and the general trend in recent months in the country, which has reported only a few sporadic outbreaks, has greatly eased fears in China about the virus.

“Last year we suffered (in Wuhan) from coronavirus,” said 23-year-old student and Wuhan resident Gao Yuchen.

“It has not been easy to get to where we are today. People here have made a great effort and paid a great price (to be affected by the virus). So I feel very excited to be here (at the festival ), “Said Gao.

The two-day event brings together well-known and not-so-famous domestic singers and bands across three stages in Wuhan’s Garden Expo Park. Sister “Strawberry Music Festival” events are held in other cities, including Beijing, during the national holiday. Participants came to Wuhan from across the country, as did 29-year-old Zhang Hongkai, from Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province.

“This is my first time at such an event held outdoors,” Zhang said. “I really like the atmosphere.”

Mainland China reported 16 new COVID-19 cases Friday, down from 13 a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said Saturday.

All of the new cases were imported infections originating abroad, the National Health Commission said in a statement.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland now stands at 90,671, while the number of deaths remains unchanged at 4,636, many of whom were Wuhan residents.

China completed about 11.6 million vaccinations against COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number administered to more than 265 million, according to data released by the National Health Commission on Saturday.

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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