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​China Dismisses Outrage From Viral Wuhan Pool Party Photo

​China Dismisses Outrage From Viral Wuhan Pool Party Photo

Earlier this week, photos showed thousands of partygoers crammed into the waterpark in Wuhan, which was the epicentre of the coronavirus

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

Chinese state media has dismissed the global outrage from photos showing crowds at Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park, arguing that it is merely a 'sign of the city's return to normalcy' and the economy bouncing back.

Earlier this week, photos showed thousands of partygoers crammed into the waterpark in Wuhan, which was the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

Global Times, an English-language newspaper backed by the Chinese Communist Party, has defended the gathering - hitting back at those who viewed it as a slap in the face to the rest of the world, where the virus remains a huge issue in various countries.

Championing not only Wuhan's strict lockdown measures, but also the rapid testing of nearly 11 million residents, the newspaper argued that the pool party was 'payback'.

STR/AFP via Getty Images

it also claimed the park took necessary measures to protect the safety of visitors and employeers, with temperature checks and disinfection, along with capping the attendance at 50 percent of its normal capacity in a bid to control the crowds.

Published on Tuesday, the story was headlined 'Wuhan's after-pandemic pool party sends a message to world: strict anti-virus measures have a payback'.

The story itself explained how Wuhan had previously been one of the worst-hit cities in the world, but things were now returning to normal.

It said: "Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 was first reported and the one hit hardest by the virus, is now welcoming an influx of tourists, and its economy is reviving, which local residents believed should not only be seen as a sign of the city's return to normalcy, but also a reminder to countries grappling with the virus that strict preventive measures have a payback."

STR/AFP via Getty Images

The outdoor park reopened in June after Wuhan gradually lifted the strict restrictions that were initially in place as authorities tried to stop the spread of the virus.

The crowds were attending an electronic music festival with many perched on rubber dinghies and wearing life jackets.

After the photos went viral, many criticised the large crowds as revellers stood shoulder-to-shoulder, none wearing face masks.

According to the Daily Mail, the park has also been offering half-price discounts for female visitors.

Featured Image Credit: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Topics: World News, News, Coronavirus, China