China is gradually returning to normalcy after fighting the coronavirus pandemic for months. The lockdown is completely lifted in Wuhan which was the center of the outbreak a few months back. In the meantime, the US State Department intends to send the US consulate staff back to Wuhan, China.
The Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, Mary Elizabeth Taylor issued a notification saying that the State Department plans to reopen the consulate at the end of this month. The Department can also reschedule opening on 22nd June 2020 according to the given circumstances.
The notification also stated that it is important to send the staff to Wuhan to mitigate the relations between the US and China. The US consulate in an important diplomatic post in China which needs to be reopened soon.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Trump continuously blamed China for spreading the coronavirus globally. He even called the coronavirus, which originated in the Hubei province of China, the Chinese virus in many of his addresses. This led to tense relations between China and the US.
In the meantime, Mike Pompeo, the State Secretary said that China is not completely transparent on the matter of coronavirus pandemic on various occasions. He also repeatedly said that Trump administration will make China pay for the coronavirus outbreak. However, President Trump will make the final decision on how to execute their plans.
China implemented a lockdown in early January as the virus spread in many regions of the country. Meanwhile, the US consulate staff was brought back on the orders of the State Department. Many families and the non-emergency personnel in Wuhan departed from the city.
The American diplomats along with hundreds of US citizens returning to the US on chartered flights of State Department. They were evacuated between late January and the first week of February. China later lifted the lockdown gradually in April as the number of cases in Wuhan became stable.
The State Department stated in the congressional notification that the situation of coronavirus pandemic in China is better than before. The virus is now contained specifically in Wuhan which is located in the Hubei province. Therefore, the US consulate should resume regular operations considering the situation in Wuhan.
The department intends to resume work around the world in phases. A spokesperson from the State Department said that there are 97 posts which are in phase 1 of reopening and 35 foreign posts are already in phase 2.
The State Department plans that 40 percent of the non-vulnerable employees will return to work during phase 1 of reopening. During phase 2, 40 to 80 percent of employees will come back to work.
The spokesperson also said that Washington will enter Phase 1 from the coming Monday. The State Department is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak situation in Washington to ensure that they reopen safely.
While hundreds and thousands of deaths due to the coronavirus are recorded during the pandemic, the US is reopening different states in phases. The extensive lockdown caused an economic crisis in the country and the after-effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be observed in the coming months.