Chinese city eases coronavirus lockdown but life is far from normal Mar 27, 2020 0 491 12345 AFPHuanggang, ChinaBanners warning that playing cards together is suicide and guards yelling at crowds to separate: a Chinese city near the coronavirus ground zero remains far from normal even after emerging from a two-month lockdown.Huanggang, home to 7.5 million people, was among the worst-affected areas in Hubei, the province where the new coronavirus first emerged late last year before morphing into a deadly pandemic.Travel restrictions were loosened on Wednesday and -- if healthy -- people were allowed to leave Hubei, where more than 50 million people were placed under lockdown in January to prevent the spread of the virus.But warnings were prominently displayed across Huanggang city to remind people that the virus still posed a threat as they returned to the streets.“Gathering to play cards is suicide,” said a red banner hanging by the roadside.“If you don’t wear a mask, the virus will fall in love with you,” warned another.Restaurants in the city re-opened -- but diners weren’t allowed to eat inside.Instead, delivery drivers collected takeout orders from different shops on one food street lined with red lanterns, as a handful of customers ate at tables outside.Several hotels remained closed. Others offered only a small number of rooms to guests.Nearly 3,000 people were infected and 125 died in Huanggang, which is now considered a low-risk area.Like other regions in the province, people can travel in and out of the city if they have a “green” health status on a special phone app.It is a big change from earlier this year, when Hubei was placed under lockdown to fight the virus, which was traced to a market in the province’s capital Wuhan.But despite the easing of restrictions, Huanggang is still on edge, and officials repeatedly told AFP that the situation was still “not safe”.Reporters were made to cover up their vented N95 masks with additional surgical masks before being allowed to leave the train station, where guards shouted at crowds of passengers not to stand too close together.A closed field hospital is a testament to the vast changes the city has already gone through. The Dabieshan Medical Center was under construction when the epidemic broke out, but new walls and equipment were rapidly drafted in to make it suitable for treating infectious diseases. The final patients were discharged last week and now the empty hospital is dark and deserted. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Christchurch mosque attacks suspect pleads guilty Mar 27, 2020 0 3109 India’s migrant workers on long walk home amid lockdown Mar 27, 2020 0 461 Pakistan clerics to defy mosque closure amid Covid-19 lockdown Mar 27, 2020 0 128 Hong Kong politician arrested for ‘sedition’ over Facebook post Hong Kong Hong Kong police Thursday arrested an opposition politician under a colonial-era sedition law for allegedly sharing the identity of an officer who fired a baton round that blinded a journalist during protests .. Nine doctors die from coronavirus in Philippines AFP Manila Nine doctors have died in the Philippines from the coronavirus, the country’s top medical association said Thursday, as hospitals were overwhelmed and medics complained about a lack of protection on the .. China cuts international flights, bars foreign residents Beijing China will drastically cut its international flight routes and bar entry to returning foreigners based in the country to stem the spread of the coronavirus, authorities said on Thursday. The country has not .. Virus-stricken cruise ship told to leave Australian waters Sydney A cruise ship stricken by a coronavirus outbreak was told on Thursday to leave Australian waters, days after local infection numbers spiked when passengers on another vessel were allowed to disembark and roam .. Afghanistan to release up to 10,000 prisoners to slow coronavirus spread Kabul Afghanistan has ordered the release of up to 10,000 prisoners -- mostly women, juveniles and sick people -- in a bid to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, officials said on Thursday. The move comes after an ..