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Chinese citizens warned against visiting elderly for lunar new year holiday

China, last month, dismantled its zero-Covid policy

CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS No room for recovery: Covid-19 patients lie on hospital beds in the lobby of the Chongqing No. 5 People’s Hospital in China’s southwestern city of Chongqing | AFP

Chinese citizens have been warned against visiting their elderly during the lunar new year holiday. Amid an explosive surge of Covid-19, authorities are concerned about the elderly population. They are fretting over the elderly being more susceptible to the virus. 

On Thursday Prof Guo Jianwen, a member of the state council’s pandemic prevention team urged people “don’t go home to visit them” if elderly relatives had not yet been infected.“You have all kinds of ways to show you care for them, you don’t necessarily have to bring the virus to their home,” Guo told the Guardian. 

China, last month, dismantled its zero-Covid policy, which included strict lockdowns and mass testing. There's been an explosive surge in the spread of the virus. 

The increasing number of cases is putting pressure on hospitals and overwhelming crematoriums. The holiday period is considered the world’s largest annual migration of people. The broader Lunar Year period, which started on January 7 runs for 40 days. During this period, about 2 million people are expected to take trips to visit relatives. And WHO has said, with limited data from the mainland, it would be difficult to manage the virus.

China has been under-reporting Covid-19 cases and related deaths. Only deaths reported to have occurred due to pulmonary-related illness are being counted as Covid deaths. 

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