China Enters 40-Day Spring Festival Travel Rush Amid Nationwide COVID-19 Flare-Ups

Beijing [China], January 18 (ANI): The world’s largest human migration, China’s 40-day Chunyun or Spring Festival travel rush, kicked off on Monday amid nationwide COVID-19 flare-ups.

As per Global Times, more than 1.18 billion trips are expected to be made countrywide during the 40-day travel rush. However, due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19 outbreaks, great uncertainties exist for this year’s Chunyun. A total of 280 million railway passenger trips are expected during the travel rush, of which the railway system in Beijing is expected to see 8.98 million trips, and about 9.1 million trips were expected to be made in Shanghai railway stations, according to the transportation departments.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said nearly 600,000 passenger flights during the Chunyun period were scheduled, and some 20,000 extra flights were approved to be arranged as well. The country will see about 35 million trips by air, on par with last year’s number.

If an outbreak occurs, railway services would be immediately suspended or reduced, and flights would also be adjusted dynamically in response, according to the latest anti-epidemic policy, reported Global Times.

Wang Guangfa, a respiratory expert at Peking University First Hospital, told the Global Times that this year’s Spring Festival travel rush comes amid sporadic outbreaks, similar to last year.

The huge flow of passengers would certainly increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Affected by the domestic COVID-19 flare-ups, many people couldn’t manage to get back home and decided to stay put.
Municipalities like Beijing and Tianjin, and provinces like Central China’s Henan, East China’s Jiangsu and North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, have called on local residents to stay put during the holidays. Many cities said they will offer some cash or coupons for migrant workers, reported Global Times.

China Railway Shanghai Group previously predicted that the week ahead of the Spring Festival and the week after the Lantern Festival could see more concentrated passenger flows, reported Global Times.
Affected by domestic outbreaks, trains to and from affected regions have been suspended or reduced.
Epidemic prevention is still the keyword of this Chunyun. Health codes and masks are essential for taking the public transportation system.

Currently, 10 provinces and regions in China are registering COVID-19 infections, and eight regions in six provinces have detected the highly contagious Omicron variant.

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