China celebrated the Lunar New Year on Sunday Large family gatherings and crowds at places of worship across the country after the government lifted the ‘Zero Covid’ policy.It is one of the biggest festive celebrations since the pandemic began three years ago.
Important points about Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations and the rise in Covid:
1. In China, each year is named after one of the 12 zodiac signs in a repeating cycle. This year has been called the ‘year of the rabbit’. For the first time since the pandemic, people across China can travel to their homelands without fear of quarantines, lockdowns and travel restrictions.
2. Also known as the Spring Festival, Beijing hosts thousands of cultural events – on a larger scale than last year – to usher in the new year.
3. According to Wu Zunyu, chief epidemiologist at China’s Center for Disease Control, mass movement of people may cause the virus to spread in some areas, but a large-scale increase in Covid-19 is likely among the country’s 1.4 billion people. Not up to 80 percent. People have already been affected during the recent wave in January.
4. Between January 13 and January 16, China reported 13,000 deaths from Covid in hospitals, adding to the 60,000 already recorded this month. Since China relaxed its strict Covid laws last December, a sudden surge in infections has overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes.
5. Mindful of the economic slowdown and public demand for normalcy, the Chinese government had decided to end its strict regime of covid control and mass testing.
(with agency information)