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The “Chunyun” began, the largest annual migration in the world to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and there is fear for the outbreak of COVID-19

Travelers wearing face masks during the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic queue at the check-in counters at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, China
Travelers wearing face masks during the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic queue at the check-in counters at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, China

China today witnessed the beginning of the 40-day period known in Chinese as “chunyun”, the largest annual migration in the world, which happens every year during the Lunar New Yearthat in this 2023 of the end of politics ‘zero covid’ it will fall between January 21 and 27.

Estimates put around 2,090 million trips this year between January 7 and February 15, an increase of 99.5% compared to 2022, the Asian giant’s Ministry of Transport published this Friday.

The growth in the volume of passengers is considered a response to the announcement by the authorities of the regime at the beginning of December with which they launched the dismantling of the ‘zero covid’ policy.

The restrictions that accompanied the strict policy had been in force for almost three years and consisted of lockdowns where cases were registered, the closure of borders, the isolation of all those infected and their close contacts, and PCR tests constant to the population.

Thousands of people gathered on station platforms throughout the country, still fearful of the pandemicbut wanting to travel to their family homes, mostly in rural areas.

Some rural areas that have to guarantee the “supply of medicines” during the Lunar New Year since an increase in covid cases is expected in non-urban areas due to the flow of travelers caused by the “chunyun”, according to an expert from the National Health Commission Last Tuesday.

The rapid spread of the virus throughout the country after withdrawing the ‘zero covid’ policy has sown doubts about the reliability of the official data on infections and deaths, which have registered only a handful of recent deaths from the disease despite the fact that towns and provinces they have estimated that a significant proportion of their populations have been infected.

China announced at the end of December that it will reopen its borders tomorrow, Sunday, January 8, for the first time since March 2020.

Several people stand in front of a flight information board
Several people stand in front of a flight information board

As of the same day, the covid will cease to be a category A disease in China, the level of maximum danger and for whose containment the most severe measures are required, to become a category B, which contemplates a more lax control, thus marking in practice the end of the ‘zero covid’ policy, dismantled by the authorities after protests took place.

The chinese tourists prepared today to be able to travel to South Korea as of Sunday without the worries that return trips to the Asian giant caused by the ‘zero covid’ policy.

The announcement last month of the dismantling of the anti-pandemic policy that has governed China for three years collapsed the various websites of travel agencies, with the popular destination of South Korea being one of the most requested searches, the Hong Kong daily reported today. South China Morning Post.

The relatively short distance between the two nations makes the South Korean country one of the favorite destinations for young Chinese, who have wanted to take advantage of the end of the anti-covid measures and the upcoming start of the Lunar New Year holiday.

However, the decision of the South Korean government Limiting additional flights and screening Chinese arrivals for the coronavirus has dampened sentiment among Korean tourism companies, who want to wait and see if pre-2020 figures return. Chinese pandemic.

Some numbers that will benefit from the reopening at the Beijing Capital International Airport of Terminal 2 and 3-E for outgoing flights and, above all, international arrivals as of Sunday, the day on which China will withdraw the quarantine requirement for entry into the country that had been in force since March 2020.

Beginning on March 10 of that year, passengers arriving in Beijing had to enter the airport’s Terminal 3-D and then undergo a mandatory multi-day quarantine at a designated hotel.

The country’s airports will receive thousands of Chinese passengers from abroad in the coming days, according to various forecasts offered by travel agencies to take advantage of the end of the quarantines upon arrival in the country and to be able to visit their relatives on the occasion of the Chinese New Year.

People wear face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in a line to buy face masks at a department store in Seoul, South Korea.
People wear face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in a line to buy face masks at a department store in Seoul, South Korea.

Some festivities that began today with the 40-day period known in Chinese as “chunyun”, the largest annual migration in the world, which happens every year during the Lunar New Year, which in this 2023 end of the ‘zero covid’ policy will fall between 21 and 27 January.

Estimates put around 2,090 million trips on Chinese soil this year between January 7 and February 15, an increase of 99.5% compared to 2022, the newspaper published this Friday. Ministry of Transport of the Asian giant.

The growth in the volume of passengers is considered a response to the announcement by the authorities at the beginning of December with which they launched the dismantling of the ‘zero covid’ policy.

The restrictions that accompanied the strict policy had been in force for almost three years and consisted of lockdowns where cases were registered, the closure of borders, the isolation of all those infected and their close contacts and PCR tests constant to the population.

Thousands of people gathered on station platforms across the country, still fearful of the pandemic, but wanting to travel to their family homes, most of them in rural areas.

Some rural areas that have to guarantee the “supply of medicines” during the Lunar New Year since an increase in covid cases is expected in non-urban areas due to the flow of travelers caused by the “chunyun”, according to an expert from the National Health Commission last Tuesday.

The rapid spread of the virus throughout the country after withdrawing the ‘zero covid’ policy has sown doubts about the reliability of the official data on infections and deaths, which have registered only a handful of recent deaths from the disease despite the fact that towns and provinces they have estimated that a significant proportion of their populations have been infected.

China announced at the end of December that it will reopen its borders next Sunday, January 8, for the first time since March 2020.

As of the same day, the covid will cease to be a category A disease in China, the level of maximum danger and for whose containment the most severe measures are required, to become a category B, which contemplates more lax control, thus marking in practice the end of the ‘zero covid’ policy, dismantled by the authorities after protests took place.

(With information from EFE)

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