Friday, January 27, 2023

Beijing and Shanghai residents return to work as China tries to live with COVID

by Bernard Orr Wai Zihao Jiang

Beijing,Shanghai, Dec. 26 – Commuters in Beijing and Shanghai wearing face masks packed subway trains on Monday. China’s two biggest cities are getting closer to being able to keep up with it covid-19, as the largely uncontrolled virus has infected millions across the country.

After three years of relentless anti-coronavirus measures, President Xi Jinping abandoned the “zero zero” strategy this month. covid“In the country, protests and an increase in outbreaks have included imprisonment and stricter testing.

Health experts and residents fear China’s figures, which show no new deaths covid The six days before Sunday do not reflect the true death toll, and that the country’s fragile health system is being overwhelmed.

After the initial shock of the U-turn in strategy, and after weeks in which people in Beijing and Shanghai stayed home, either combating the disease or trying to avoid it, there are signs that life is back on track back in the normal way.

Subway trains in Beijing and Shanghai were crowded, while some of the two cities’ main traffic arteries were blocked on Monday by slow-moving cars.

“I am ready to live with the epidemic,” said Lin Zixin, a 25-year-old resident of Shanghai. “Lockdown is not a long term solution.

This year, China’s 25 million mall residents endured two months of bitter isolation under a strict lockdown that runs until June 1, in an effort to prevent nationwide infections from spiraling out of control.

Shanghai’s bustling streets were a stark contrast to April and May, when hardly anyone was seen outside.

The annual Christmas market on the Bund, a commercial area of ​​Shanghai, was very popular among the city’s residents over the weekend. Crowds turned out for winter festivities at Shanghai Disneyland and Beijing’s Universal Studios on Sunday, dressed in Christmas attire to ride the attractions.

Local newspaper The Twenty First Century Business Herald reported that this weekend the number of sightseeing tours in the southern city of Guangzhou increased by 132% compared to the previous one.

“Now basically everyone is back to normal routine. The tense atmosphere has passed,” said a 29-year-old Beijing resident surnamed Han.

China is the latest major country to move towards a cure covid Like some local. His control measures slowed the $17 trillion economy to its lowest growth rate in nearly half a century, disrupting supply chains and global trade.

According to analysts, losses are expected to continue in the near term as the world’s second largest economy ripples covid Before taking over the next year, manufacturing spread across sectors and an ailing workforce.

Tesla suspended production at its Shanghai plant on Saturday, ahead of plans to halt most work at the plant in the last week of December. The company did not give any reason.

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The world’s most populous country has narrowed its definition to classify deaths as related covidcounting people with pneumonia or respiratory failure covidWhich has created blisters among world health experts.

The country’s healthcare system has come under heavy strain, according to state media, with staff being asked to work, while sick and retired medical workers from rural communities are being re-hired to help.

The provincial government of Zhejiang, a large industrial province near Shanghai with a population of 65.4 million, said on Sunday it was dealing with nearly a million new infections a day from the virus. covid-19, a number that is expected to double in the coming days.

State media reported that health officials in the southeastern province of Jiangxi said infections would peak in early January, adding that there could be further spikes next month when people travel for Lunar New Year celebrations. .

He warned that the infection wave would last for three months and that some 80% of the province’s 45 million residents could be infected.

The city of Qingdao in the eastern province of Shandong estimated that 530,000 residents were infected every day.

Cities across China have been quick to add intensive care units and specialized fever clinics designed to prevent the further spread of infectious diseases to hospitals.

The Beijing municipal government has said that the number of specialized fever clinics in the city has increased from 94 to nearly 1,300, according to state media. Shanghai has 2,600 such clinics and has transferred doctors from short-staffed medical departments to help.

Concerns remain about the ability of China’s less affluent cities to deal with a surge in serious infections, especially as hundreds of millions of migrant rural workers are expected to reunite with their families for the Lunar New Year.

“I worry that the flow of people will be huge… (and) the epidemic will spread again,” said Lin, a Shanghai resident.

Nation World News Desk
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