AN IRISH man who has been living in China has described how life has returned to normality following the coronavirus crisis.
In what will be a welcome glimmer of hope for the western world, teacher Mark Murray has told RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne that nine months after the pandemic first emerged in the city of Wuhan, life in China has largely returned to normal.
This, he says, is because of citizens adhering completely to lockdown measures, and the government implementing strict border control.
Now nightlife, mass gatherings and entertainment has returned to China, and masks are mandatory only on public transport.
He explained that a new QR Health Code has been implemented in the country, with citizens required to present their health status in a 'traffic-light' system of Red, Yellow and Green.
Should your health status be Red, you must quarantine for 14 days and provide regular checking on a separate app; if Yellow, you must stay inside for seven days, and; if Green, you may act as normal and travel freely.
Border controls are still very much in force in China, with nobody allowed to enter: he told presenter Claire Byrne that should he leave the country, he would not be allowed to return.
It is now up to the rest of the world to "catch up", he said-- in China, there is no longer a fear of Covid-19 as it is regarded as a thing of the past.
The initial lockdown lasted for between six weeks to two months, and was taken extremely seriously-- Chinese people, he said, were "shocked" that the pandemic was being taken so lightly in Europe, with some continuing to host house parties and gatherings.
"Nobody," he said, "Not even teenagers, no-one was risking getting together in groups at the beginning."
The city of Wuhan, where the first case of the novel coronavirus was identified, has not recorded a single case of community transmission of the disease since May.