Award of Excellence

The Final Days of the Lockdown in Wuhan

Roman Pilipey


On January 23, 2020, Wuhan, the Covid-19 pandemic’s ground zero and a Chinese city of more than 11 million had been sealed off from the rest of the world in an attempt to limit the coronavirus outbreak’s spread. Planes and trains leaving the metropolis were canceled, highway entrances were shut down, people couldn't get in or out. Within Wuhan, public transport was suspended. In humans history, such a big lockdown had never been attempted. The beginning of lifting the lockdown began on March 28 when the city was partly re-opened only allowing people to enter the city. And on April 8, after 76 days Wuhan ended its strict lockdown giving a huge relief to all citizens. At that time according to China's officials over 2500 people died from COVID-19 in Wuhan, and more than 50,000 coronavirus cases were recorded. Later the city’s death toll was raised by 50 percent, although the number was still much disputed among experts and world leaders. When Wuhan, was reopening to the outside world the novel coronavirus outbreak has been already declared as a global pandemic by The World Health Organization (WHO), with over a million infections and thousands of deaths worldwide at that time.

Roman Pilipey is a Ukrainian photojournalist working for the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA). His photography career started from freelancing for different Ukrainian news agencies and newspapers while at the same time studying journalism at one of Kyiv’s universities. The first main event he witnessed as the photographer was the Euromaidan revolution in 2013-2014, and which he covered from the beginning until the end mainly for EPA as the freelance photographer. From 2014 he was covering the war in eastern Ukraine, and the same year became the EPA staff photographer. For the next few years, Roman’s focus was mainly on the eastern Ukraine conflict and its aftermath. In 2017 Roman relocated to Beijing from where he works on photo stories and covers major news events in China and around the world as the EPA photographer.

[ COVID PICTURE STORY ] A multiple-picture story, essay, sequence or series based on daily coverage of general news or breaking news related to COVID-19. Each submission consists of 5 to 10 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 5 submissions. The images must be taken in 2019 or 2020.

Judges for Covid Picture Story
Abir Abdullah
Nariman El Mofty
Bryan van der Beek
Shiho Fukada
Wonsuk Choi