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Covid Outbreak In China Downplayed With Holiday Rush

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Covid Outbreak In China Downplayed With Holiday Rush

(CTN News) – The Covid-19 outbreak that officials say is at its peak crowded trains and buses across China on Friday, fueling fears of new outbreaks.

Sun Chunlan, vice premier, said the virus was “relatively low”, while health officials said fewer Covid patients were hospitalized.

However, China’s official account of a widespread outbreak that has overrun hospitals and funeral homes is widely disputed.

Covid was unleashed on a population of 1.4 billion as a result of that policy U-turn following protests against government anti-virus measures.

British-based health data firm Airfinity forecasts Covid fatalities could hit 36,000 a day next week in China, with more than 1 million expected to die.

According to Xinhua, “the overall pandemic in the country is relatively low,” Sun said.

Hospitals are having fewer critical patients, but rescue missions are still heavy.”

Thousands of city dwellers will travel to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year holiday beginning on Saturday, one of the most frenetic travel days since the pandemic began.

The government estimates that more than 2 billion trips will take place across China between January 7 and February 15.

Home sweet home

Families headed to long-awaited reunions boarded trains on Friday laden with luggage and gifts.

Everyone wants to go home. A 30-year-old surnamed Li told Reuters at Beijing’s West railway station: “We haven’t seen our families for so long.”

Some people remember lost loved ones during the holiday.

The funeral home, according to Gu Bei, could not tell her when her mother would be cremated, a writer from Shanghai said on Weibo.

This week, China’s internet regulator said it would censor “fake information” about the virus spread during Lunar New Year celebrations.

No dark and gloomy words in the new year. “Let me mourn my mother now,” Gu wrote in her post, which did not specify the cause of her death.

One indicator of Covid’s deadly effects is the rise in funeral home spending on items such as body bags and cremation ovens.

There were nearly 60,000 Covid deaths in China between December 8 and January 12. Those deaths exclude those who died at home, and some doctors don’t put Covid on death certificates.

Demand is pent up

He also stressed the need to protect the elderly – many of whom are not fully vaccinated – in rural areas with weak medical systems.

On Friday, Kate O’Brien, WHO’s immunisation director, praised China for making quick progress in vaccinating older people since lifting anti-virus controls.

Nevertheless, some elderly people found it “difficult” to understand its revised vaccination policy since they were previously told not to.

As of Thursday, WHO reported a large increase in COVID hospitalizations in China. 63,307 hospitalizations occurred in the previous week, up 70%.

Health officials said on Thursday that Covid patients reporting to hospitals had peaked, with 40pc fewer being treated with critical conditions on Jan 17 than on Jan 5.

Chinese stocks and the yuan currency have risen to multi-month highs after China’s reopening, despite chaos. The reopening of China’s economy is expected to unleash pent-up demand, according to Nomura analysts.

Young people’s unemployment is up, a hangover from years of travel curbs and lockdowns, they said.

In spite of limited international flights, Chinese tourists are returning to the world’s retail and travel industries.

Red lantern displays and special dances mark the Year of the Rabbit in malls from Macau to Bangkok. According to estimates from Bain, Chinese travelers spent $255 billion on luxury personal goods in 2019.

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