Some in China return to regular activity after COVID infections

BEIJING/WUHAN (Reuters) – Some people in the major Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan returned to normal activities on Monday after battling cold weather and a surge in coronavirus infections. Recover from infections.

People who gathered to sled or ice-skate on a frozen lake in the capital’s Shichahai Lake Park said China would drop its strict “zero COVID” measures on Dec. 7 and adopt a strategy of coexistence with China. After hiring, some were optimistic about opening up. virus.

But after borders were closed for almost three years amid strict lockdowns and relentless testing regimes, waves of infections erupted across the country.

“Because of the epidemic, we didn’t get the chance to go out,” said Yang, one of the people in the park who only gave one name.

“Once this lockdown is over, you won’t have to scan your health code, you won’t have to check your travel code, so now you’re free.”

Zhong, a 22-year-old college student who was also at the lake, said he didn’t leave home for a few weeks after being infected.

“I can go out now, and it’s a good time for the New Year. I want to go around Beijing and enjoy the festive atmosphere.”

Traffic is picking up again on the capital’s roads as people quickly return to outdoor locations such as lakes, rivers and shopping malls. But in some small, closed places, such as restaurants, business is still slow, the owner said.

“Work production, life and entertainment are all returning to normal levels,” Wu told Reuters from a riverside location in central Wuhan, where the pandemic began three years ago.

Infected people were no longer so anxious, added Wu, a private education and training center more

China’s biggest holiday, the Lunar New Year, will begin on Jan. 21 this year when the rail network is expected to carry 5.5 million passengers, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Amid an expected surge in holiday travel, officials at Tibet’s majestic Potala Palace said it would reopen for visitors from Jan. 3 after being closed last August due to the COVID-19 outbreak. rice field.

According to media reports, some hotels in Sanya tourist attractions on the southern island of Hainan have already been fully booked for the Chinese New Year.

In recent days, state media have tried to reassure the public that the COVID-19 outbreak is under control and nearing its peak.

More than 80% of people living in southwestern Sichuan have been infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday.

But Monday’s new COVID deaths among China’s population of 1.4 billion were flat from the previous day, but not comparable to other countries’ experiences post-reopening.

China’s official death toll has risen to 5,250 since the pandemic began, matching the United States’ over 1 million. Hong Kong, a Chinese-dominated city of 7.4 million, has reported more than 11,000 deaths.

UK-based health data company Airfinity said last week that about 9,000 people are probably dying from COVID in China every day.

The cumulative death toll in China since Dec. 1 has probably reached 100,000, with infections reaching 18.6 million, it said.

Airfinity expects China’s COVID infections to reach its first peak on January 13, infecting 3.7 million people each day.

China has said it only counts deaths of COVID patients from pneumonia and respiratory failure as COVID-related.

The relatively low number of deaths also does not match the surging demand reported by funeral directors in some cities.

Hospitals and funeral homes were overwhelmed after curbs were removed after widespread protests in November, with people on IV drips on the roadside and hearses lined up outside crematoriums. has fueled public concern.

Additional reports from the Beijing Newsroom and Syrousse. Written by Farrer Master.Edited by Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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