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COVID cover-up accusations dog China a year on from Wuhan lockdown

Criticism over early handling of the outbreak mars Beijing's narrative of success

Crowds at a street market in Wuhan on Sept. 2: China has declared victory over the coronavirus.   © Reuters

WUHAN, China/SHENZHEN -- The streets of Hankou, a popular shopping district at the heart of Wuhan, were packed Sunday night with people hunting for pre-Lunar New Year bargains at stores including L'Oreal, Nike and Muji.

The bustle stood in stark contrast to a year earlier, when the Chinese city sat at the very center of what the World Health Organization would later declare a coronavirus pandemic.

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