In an announcement made on Tuesday, the epicenter of Coronavirus in China is set to open up as governments around the world tighten lockdowns. Hubei, where the novel coronavirus surfaced late last year, will permit healthy residents to leave the province as from midnight. This comes two months after they were instructed to stay indoors in order to curb the rising cases of infections.  However, the rules will not be applicable to the hardest-hit city of Wuhan until April 8.

This comes at a time when countries such as New Zealand and Britain joined other nations in North America, Europe, Asia and Middle East in declaring countrywide shutdowns in a bid to contain the growing number of infections. The International Olympic Committee has already postponed the Tokyo Games by one-year due to the threat posed by coronavirus.  Across the globe, the grim toll continues to mount with almost 390,000 declared infections and close to 17,000 fatalities.

Europe alone has more than 200, 000 declared infections making it the new epicentre of the coronavirus. Italy is the most affected country in Europe followed by Spain though officials saying the lockdown may be bearing fruit. Extraordinary measures imposed in different parts of the world have greatly altered the daily life of more than 1.7 billion people.  In Spain, soldiers who are tasked with the main responsibility of curbing the outbreak reported finding abandoned elderly people-some dead.

The financial impact of economies coming to a halt continues to unnerve policymakers with some flooding the market with yet more cash in an attempt to keep the wheels turning. In the United States, the Federal Reserve unveiled an unprecedented bond-buying programme in a move that was yet to be witnessed for more than a decade. In Britain, the government ordered  a three-week shutdown of ‘non-essential’ shops and services while also banning gatherings of more than two people. Many countries around the world are struggling to put in place more aggressive measures to curb coronavirus as they lack enough resources.