About 80% of China’s population has been infected with Covid-19, a top government epidemiologist said, as he downplayed the possibility of a new wave of cases during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Wu Zunyou’s comments come as Chinese families cross the border and reunite for the New Year holiday for the first time since 2019. In the largest annual human exodus, the Ministry of Transport of the country estimates that Chinese citizens will make 2.1 billion trips.
The festival, which runs from January 21 to 27, is China’s biggest annual holiday when financial markets are closed for the whole week. It is also celebrated throughout Asia in countries such as Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
In an abrupt turn late last year, China eased its strict no-Covid policy, leading to a mass outbreak. Wu, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the current wave of infections would protect against a surge in cases due to the new year’s migration wave.
“The possibility of a nationwide outbreak or a second wave in the next two to three months is very small, as this wave has infected about 80 percent of the population,” Wu said. Times, a Chinese state media newspaper.
Wu acknowledged that the large movement of people during the holidays could cause infections to increase in some localities.
China is accused of undercounting the number of deaths from Covid-19 after the country said last weekend. nearly 60,000 won died of the disease between December 8 and January 12. Analysts at Airfinity suggest that the death toll could be more than 641,000 so far.
One factor that skews the statistics is pressure on medical professionals from local authorities to avoid recording Covid as the cause of death on the official certificate, to the disappointment of loved ones.
With China lifting quarantine restrictions in January, travel providers have seen bookings soar over the New Year period from the country’s 1.4 billion population, most of them. Some of them have been trapped inside their borders for three years.
Trip.com, China’s largest online travel agency, says popular destinations include Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Singapore and the United States, benefiting the tourism industry global calendar.
Southeast Asia and Thailand in particular will benefit the most from Chinese tourists, who venture beyond mainland China, or the territories of Hong Kong and Macau, a hub gambling adjacent to Guangdong province in southern China.
According to Trip.com, overseas travel by Chinese citizens has increased by 540% since last year’s Lunar New Year.