Chinese state media lashed out at "foreign netizens" on Thursday who criticized a pool party at Wuhan, a city in central China where early cases of coronavirus were reported. The reaction came after photos of the pool party went viral on social media prompting people to criticize and question the Chinese government.
The state-backed Global Times called the criticism from the foreigners "sour grapes." The newspaper also said that the complaints reflected poor handling of the coronavirus situation in the critics' countries.
Global Furor Over Mass Gathering In Wuhan
On Monday, Agence France-Presse posted photos and videos of the pool party in Wuhan on Twitter. Thousands of party-goers were seen gathering at a waterpark festival within close proximity of one another. Twitter users expressed outrage and called the move to hold to the party "irresponsible."
"The world is angry with this.... thousands of people have died because of irresponsible of these people and now they are ...celebrating?!! ... #wtf why??!!" one Twitter user wrote.
Another wrote: "Either they've found the cure and are celebrating it or it was just all a hoax and they just scared us all into going into lockdown for nothing. Somehow can't help myself from thinking the latter sounds not too far fetched :/"
State-backed Media Responds to Criticism
As a response to the criticism, Global Times also ran an editorial claiming that Wuhan was "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."
Following the coronavirus outbreak late last year, Wuhan was widely believed to be its origin. The city, which is located in Hubei province, was placed under strict lockdown for 76 days by the Chinese government. The province recorded over 68,000 coronavirus cases officially, with 4,512 deaths. Lockdown in Wuhan was eventually lifted in April.