China state media says angry reactions to a packed water party in Wuhan are 'sour grapes'
- Chinese state media hit back at criticism of a busy music festival at a water park in Wuhan, once the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
- The Global Times outlet called the reactions "sour grapes" and took the chance to celebrate the apparent success of Wuhan's lockdown.
- Wuhan went under the world's first — and one of its strictest — lockdowns.
- Hubei — the region where Wuhan is the capital — has not recorded any domestically transmitted cases since mid-May.
- Most countries that have largely controlled their outbreaks still insist on face masks and social distancing, both of which were absent in footage from the party.
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Chinese state media dismissed criticism of a massive party in the city of Wuhan by foreigners on social media as "sour grapes" from places which are handling Covid-19 less well.
Thousands gathered in a water park in the city for an electronic music festival over the weekend, with photos of the event showing no one wearing face masks and people packed closely together.
—AFP news agency (@AFP) August 18, 2020
Social media users compared the scenes to the starkly different situation in many other nations, where even countries which have got their Covid-19 outbreaks under control still ban large gatherings and enforce many measures meant to limit infection.
The Global Times, a combative tabloid controlled by the Chinese state, noted the criticism and pushed back.
It said that the reaction "exposed overseas 'sour grapes' and also prompted some to reflect on epidemic control in their own countries".
And it countered that many viewed the party as a sign that Wuhan's lockdown and other steps to control the virus had worked, allowing things to return closer to normal there.
Chinese authorities say there have been no domestically transmitted cases of the coronavirus in Hubei, the province of which Wuhan is the capital, since mid-May.
Some people highlighted the contrast between life in Wuhan and much of the rest of the world, while others appeared angry that the city where the virus was first recorded was experiencing normality.
—Rachel Blundy (@rachelblundy) August 17, 2020
—Stacey ???? #KBF ???? Animal lover (@Love_Nature2020) August 20, 2020
—Aydee (@AbdulfatahAdnan) August 20, 2020
Wuhan was the first place to record cases of the novel coronavirus, the virus which causes Covid-19. It was the first city in the world to be put under lockdown in an attempt to stop the virus' spread.
The city's 11 million residents were put into an unprecedented 76-day lockdown that ended on April 7. The lockdown was one of the strictest implemented anywhere in the world, with people mostly required to stay in their homes.
Wuhan has not gone back into a full lockdown since, and life has largely resumed. But it has recorded localised outbreaks that meant some restrictions were introduced and some areas were locked down again.
Wuhan's lockdown began when only a handful of countries in the world had recorded their first coronavirus cases, and there were few signs that the virus would result in a pandemic.
By the time Wuhan's lockdown was lifted, many countries had started to battle devastating outbreaks and were under lockdown themselves.
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