Most people in China had to spend nearly all of the last two months at home as the central government imposed unprecedented quarantine measures across the country in a drastic bid to contain COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
With the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed outside of the country has surpassing those within China, the Chinese government's strict measures appear to have quelled the outbreak domestically, reports the Al Jazeera.
The central province of Hubei and its capital Wuhan, where the virus was thought to have originated, were completely sealed off. Hubei, has had more than 500 confirmed cases since the disease started to spill into the municipality. However, there have been no cases in the city for several days.
Across the country, 13 out of 34 provinces in China have cleared their remaining cases and approximately 69,000 of 81,000 confirmed cases have been discharged. Even in Hubei, where some 10,000 cases remain, the pressure on front-line medical workers has eased.
The first batch of nearly 4,000 medical workers who were parachuted into Wuhan to help control the outbreak were able to leave on March 17.
Many of provinces have downgraded their emergency response levels as China slowly and cautiously returns to normal life.
Factories and schools are reopening
Gradually the classes are resuming after most students spent the last month or so at home and studying online. In provinces classified as "low risk of infection," including Guizhou, Qinghai, Tibet and Xinjiang, local governments have allowed educational institutions to resume classes this month.
Referring to the highly competitive national exam that determines which college students can attend, Ouyang Yanjiang, a student in Guiyang said: "I couldn't really focus while taking courses online, and I can't afford to waste any more time because the college entrance examination is in a few months."
"I am glad that we are going back to school."
Factories that were ordered to suspend operations have also starting to pick up their assembly lines.
The latest report released by China's National Bureau of Statistics stated that in January and February, the industrial output of the world's second-largest economy plummeted to the lowest point since 1998. Unemployment rate soared to more than 6 percent, the highest on record.
As the quarantine measures have been loosened many are preparing for a rebound in production.
Chinese cities that have a high density of manufacturing industry are organising their employees' return to work and pushing for the resumption of long-suspended business.
Harsh toll on people's lives by the outbreak also appears to be easing.
People are going out
Chengdu, famous for its hotpots and foodie culture, now has only a dozen cases remaining and the provincial government has said no new ones have been detected over the past three weeks. That has allowed a gradual reopening of restaurants, although people remain cautious. In videos shared online, restaurant patrons line up in front of the city's many hotpot restaurants - wearing masks and keeping a safe distance from each other.
The reopening of Chengdu's hotpot restaurants gives residents an almost unparalleled reassurance that the worst of the outbreak has indeed passed.
Gradually people are regaining their ability to travel also. Many provinces and cities have steadily resumed their public transportation. This includes inter-provincial long-distance buses that were suspended across the country days after Wuhan was sealed off on January 23.
The provincial epidemic prevention and control command in Hubei has allowed "low and middle risk" areas, such as Xianning and Yichang, to begin operating public transport again.
Barbershops reopening, parks welcoming tourists again, migrant workers making their way back to their jobs - the calamity that disrupted China's society so completely seems to be receding steadily.
News coverage of the outbreak has also eased
In late January and February, it was difficult to turn on a television or use a mobile phone in China without constantly being exposed to news about the coronavirus. However, as the epicenter is shifting to Europe, many entertainment shows are reappearing on Chinese TV.
"Now I am able to watch something on TV that is not about coronavirus, and that was unimaginable last month," Zeng Yunru, a Wuhan resident, said.
"It is funny that all of us seemed to have forgotten what our life was like before the virus."
With the coronavirus is now a global pandemic and imported cases outnumber local ones, experts worry that there is still an underlying risk. There are concerns that as soon as the expansive quarantine measures are lifted China will be a hit by a second wave of infection.
The country reported only one new domestic coronavirus case on Monday, in Hubei. Twenty other cases were of those arriving from overseas.