Do not copy China! Lockdown lifted as COVID-19 cases creep up
Lockdown lifted – tourists sites swamped
Lifting the coronavirus lockdown is the day the entire world is looking forward to. China wants this day to be now.
Today, Monday, April 6, 2020, 39 new cases were reported in China right after the lockdown lifted. Hong Kong Epidemiologist Yuen Kwok-yung said to media yesterday that China appears to be relaxing its restrictions against the COVID-19 coronavirus too soon, not bracing properly for a potential third wave of the virus.
Other countries remain in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic while China has lifted its locks after multiple weeks indoors. Now people are heading to tourist sites by the thousands.
This was a holiday weekend in China, and tourist sites were packed despite warnings from health officials that the battle against COVID-19 isn’t yet over, as reported by CNN.
Photos from Huangshan mountain park were shared on China’s Twitter-like social media site, Weibo, showing thousands of people crammed together to enter the site during the country’s Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day after the lockdown lifted.
At 7:48 a.m., officials declared the park at full capacity, according to state media the Global Times. The park allows no more than 20,000 people per day.
The publication reports that Anhui province has begun a two-week tourism promotion, allowing all 31 of its scenic spots to be visited free of charge from April 1 to 14.
Shanghai‘s famous Bund waterfront was also overwhelmed with visitors, CNN reported, after weeks of being practically empty thanks to the country’s lockdown procedures.
“China is not near the end, but has entered a new stage,” Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Health Times on Thursday, according to CNN.
“With the global epidemic raging, China has not reached the end,” he said.
China, originally the epicenter of the deadly outbreak, was recording thousands of new cases per day at its peak but has seen a lull in new ones lately until the lockdown lifted.
The National Health Commission said in a statement on Sunday that 25 of the latest cases involved people who had entered from abroad, compared with 18 such cases a day earlier.
Five new locally-transmitted infections were also reported on Saturday, all in the southern coastal province of Guangdong, up from a day earlier.
“So, in Hong Kong, we might have a third wave of cases coming from the mainland after a second wave … The epidemic is still serious in the society,” he said.
“At this stage, it is still not optimistic. What worries me the most is inadequate testing on patients with mild symptoms, which prevents us from cutting off the chain of transmission.”