Prior to the anticipated Friday peak of the Lunar New Year mass migration, millions of Chinese employees were relocating throughout China on Wednesday as China’s officials attempted to revive the COVID-devastated economy.
After three years of some of the strictest COVID-19 restrictions in the world were lifted last month, Chinese employees flooded into train stations and airports to go to smaller cities and rural residences, raising concerns about a spreading virus outbreak.
After fresh GDP figures on Tuesday showed a significant economic contraction in China, economists are closely examining the holiday season, known as the Spring Festival, for signs of rising consumption throughout the world’s second-largest economy.
Although some analysts anticipate a gradual recovery, Vice-Premier Liu He of China said on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that, after three years of pandemic isolation, China was now open to the rest of the world.
Since China’s borders opened on January 8, according to National Immigration Administration officials, 500,000 individuals have been transported in or out of the country daily on average.
However, as Chinese employees leave large areas like Shanghai, where authorities claim the virus has peaked, many of them are moving to smaller towns and villages, where uninfected older people are less likely to be exposed to COVID and where the healthcare infrastructure is less developed.
BIG ROLLING SUITCASES, GIFT BOXES
Some were ignoring the virus as they made their way to the exit gates as the COVID surge worsened.
Beijing and Shanghai’s subways and train stations were crowded with travelers, many of whom were hauling enormous wheeled luggage and boxes filled with food and gifts.
In the midst of the chaos at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station, migrant worker Jiang Zhiguang admitted, “I used to be a little scared (about the COVID-19 epidemic).
“It’s irrelevant right now. Now getting sick is acceptable. You will just be ill for two days, “30-year-old Jiang spoke to TradingTwist.
According to local health officials, the infection rate in Guangzhou, the capital of China’s most populated province, has now surpassed 85%.
State health personnel are this week visiting senior residents of some remote villages door-to-door to provide vaccinations in more remote places. The endeavor was dubbed the “final mile” on Tuesday by the official Xinhua news agency.
Oxygenators are currently being installed in clinics in distant villages and towns, and medical trucks have also been sent to remote locations.
While authorities announced on Saturday that there had been a significant rise in deaths, nearly 60,000 COVID patients had passed away in hospitals between December 8 and January 12, state media reported that health officials were not yet prepared to provide the World Health Organization (WHO) with the additional information it is currently requesting.
The WHO said in a statement to TradingTwist on Tuesday that the U.N. body is specifically interested in data on so-called excess mortality, or the number of fatalities that occur during a crisis that is above average.
The China Center for Disease Control and Prevention was already monitoring such data, according to Chinese experts, according to The Global Times, a patriotic tabloid published by the official People’s Daily. However, it would take time before the data could be made public.
According to TradingTwist, medical staff members in both public and private hospitals were deliberately discouraged from attributing deaths to COVID.