hinese officials are now floating around the idea of commemorating the sacrifices made and lives lost during the Covid-19 epidemic by marking the anniversary of when Wuhan went into lockdown.
Chinese tabloid the Global Times reports that Zhu Zhengfu, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), has submitted a proposal suggesting ideas for how China ought to memorialize its fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
One of these suggestions is to mark January 23 as an anniversary.
On January 23, authorities in the Hubei capital of Wuhan officially shut down public transport networks in the city of more than 10 million, canceling all trains and flights out of town.
The New York Times estimated this week that more than 760 million people in China now live in communities that have imposed some restrictions on travel.
Zhu’s proposal also suggested building a monument in Wuhan which would bear the names of all those who have lost their lives in the epidemic while commending those who fought against the virus.
He also proposes that frontline medical workers who died combatting the outbreak should be considered martyrs.
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) February 21, 2020
It’s unclear if the central government will act on Zhu’s proposal. While a monument and designating martyrs certainly seem likely, the anniversary day could prove contentious.
Wuhan’s lockdown has been criticized by many as coming too late after the early stages of the outbreak had already been mismanaged.
On Twitter, some users have suggested instead to mark the anniversary on the day weeks earlier when whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang was summoned by police after sounding one of the first alarms about the virus.