Thousands packed the streets to celebrate New Year's Eve in Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged, as many other cities worldwide were deserted
- The city of Wuhan, where the first-ever coronavirus cases were reported, celebrated New Year's Eve in style.
- On New Year's Eve, they were gathered in they crammed into the city center for the midnight countdown, enjoyed the thrills of the funfair, and prayed at Buddhist temples.
- By contrast, many cities worldwide were forced to cancel the annual celebrations to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The city of 11 million people in Hubei province went into a stringent lockdown at the beginning of 2020. There have been no officially reported locally transmitted cases since May.
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In Wuhan, China, thousands gathered on the streets for the New Year celebration.
The city was the ground-zero of the coronavirus pandemic. It had reported the first COVID-19 cluster exactly a year ago, on December 31, 2019.
Since May, it has been free from the virus following a strictly-enforced 76-day lockdown of its 11 million citizens.
Liberated from the threat of COVID-19 and life has returned to near-normal for Wuhan residents, and images from the city showed they could celebrate the New Year by cramming onto the streets to greet the New Year, hugging one another, enjoying the funfair, and visiting Buddhist shrines.
By contrast, many other cities worldwide canceled or drastically toned-down their annual celebrations to safeguard against the spread of coronavirus in an attempt to control the pandemic that is still surging in Europe and the USA.
In New York, Times Square was deserted of revelers to watch the iconic ball drop, for the first time since 1907, reported Mail Online.
This week saw the deadliest day in the United States since the coronavirus pandemic began, with a record-breaking number of hospitalizations foreshadowing potentially darker days still to come.
States across the US reported more than 3,900 deaths on Wednesday and over 125,000 hospitalizations, according to data from The Covid Tracking Project.
A year has passed since the World Health Organization announced the first confirmed cases of the new coronavirus.
Yet, the virus' origin and the true timeline of its worldwide spread remain a mystery. A growing body of evidence now suggests it was circulating months before the first cases captured global attention in Wuhan, China.
A study from Milan's National Cancer Institute found that four of Italy's coronavirus cases dated back to October 2019.
Research from China shows people were getting sick in Wuhan in November and early December: One analysis, based on satellite images of Wuhan hospitals and online searches for COVID-19 symptoms in the area, suggested the virus may have started circulating there as early as late summer.
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