People in China’s major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan braved the cold to resume regular activity Monday. They were optimistic about the economic recovery of more people who have recovered from COVID-19 infections.
Many people gathered to sledge and ice skate on a frozen lake at the capital’s Shichahai Lake Park. They were excited about the new opening after China removed its stringent “zero COVID” measures on Dec. 7. The country decided to live with the virus by adopting a strategy of living with it.
After three years of strict testing and lockdowns, the borders were closed to all but prevent an outbreak of infection.
Yang, one of the park’s residents, said that “after the end of the lockdown, we don’t have to scan our health code anymore nor do we need to check the travel codes.”
“So, we are now free.”
Zhong, a 22-year-old college student, was also present at the lake. He said that he had stayed at home for two to three weeks after contracting the disease.
He said, “Now I can go outside and it’s good timing for New Year’s Day holiday.” “I would like to visit Beijing and take a look at the festive atmosphere.”
Monday was a public holiday. Traffic in the capital has increased in recent days due to people flocking to outdoor sites. However, business is slow in smaller, more restricted locations such as restaurants.
A Beijing seafood restaurant owner claimed that patrons have not returned to their full strength.
Chen said that he expected the situation to persist through the Lunar New Year holiday. He did not give his surname. “I expect business to return to normal after the holiday.”
A man named Wu said that people in Wuhan, the city center where the pandemic started three years ago, were no longer as anxious.
Wu, a private tutor, said that “work production, life, and entertainment are all getting to normal levels.”
China’s largest holiday, Lunar New Year begins Jan 21st. The railway network will be carrying 5.5 million passengers, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Expectations for holiday travel are growing. Authorities at Tibet’s Potala Palace have announced that it will open to visitors starting Jan 3.
Media reports have indicated that some hotels in Sanya, a southern tourist resort, are full for Lunar New Year.
Recent days have seen the state media try to reassure the public about the COVID-19 epidemic being under control.
According to Caixin, infections in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai are nearing their end, according to a news outlet. It cited researchers from the Chinese commercial hub.
They added that infections in urban areas of Sichuan and Shaanxi, Gansu, Gansu, and Qinghai will be at their peak in January’s second half.
According to the provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80% of Sichuan residents have been infected.
However, Monday’s one new COVID death among China’s population of 1.4 billion is not comparable to the experience of other countries following re-opening.
The official death toll from the pandemic was 5,250, compared with over 1 million in the United States. More than 11,000 people have died in Hong Kong, which is governed by the Chinese. It has 7.4 million inhabitants.
According to Airfinity, approximately 9,000 Chinese are likely dying from COVID each day. The cumulative deaths since Dec. 1, according to Airfinity, have reached 100,000. Infections at 18.6 million.
Airfinity, a British-based company, anticipates China’s COVID cases will reach their first peak in January 2013, with 3.7 Million daily infections.
China claims that it does not count deaths from COVID patients due to pneumonia or respiratory failure as related to COVID.
The low death rate is inconsistent with the rising funeral demand in many cities.
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