China Covid Surge: Streets Wear Deserted Look As Cities Battle Fresh Wave Of Pandemic


On Sunday, the streets of major Chinese cities were eerily silent as residents stayed indoors to guard against a spike of COVID-19 infections that have affected metropolitan centers all throughout the country, news agency Reuters reported.

China’s top epidemiologist, Wu Zunyou, claims that the country is currently seeing the first of three waves of COVID cases this winter. He predicted that when individuals adhere to tradition and make their customary mass homecomings for the Lunar New Year holiday next month, there will be more waves.

Since Dec. 7, when it quickly lifted most restrictions essential to a zero-COVID tolerance policy in response to significant public outrage, China has not recorded any COVID deaths. President Xi Jinping had promoted this tactic.

Mass testing for the virus has come to a halt as part of the loosening of the zero-COVID limitations, raising questions about whether official case counts can accurately reflect the scope of the outbreak. On December 17, China reported 2,097 new symptomatic COVID infections.

The highly contagious omicron The variety has already disrupted services in Beijing, ranging from catering to package deliveries. The 22 million-person city’s funeral homes and crematoriums are also having trouble meeting demand due to manpower shortages caused by absenteeism among drivers and employees.

On Sunday, many hearses could be seen entering Babaoshan’s largest funeral home, which is well recognized for carrying the remains of important Chinese officials and leaders. The parking lot for private automobiles was also crowded.

While seeking anonymity, an employee stated: “Right now it is difficult to book a hearse so many relatives transport the body with their own vehicles.”

When people gathered to receive the ashes of the deceased, smoke billowed out of the crematoriums where they were located. It wasn’t immediately obvious how much the increase in COVID-related fatalities was to blame.

Social media posts also revealed deserted subways in the northwest Chinese city of Xian, while in Shanghai, the nation’s economic center, there was little sign of the customary commotion leading up to the New Year.

The streets of Chengdu were desolate, but a local by the name of Zhang said that food delivery times were getting faster as services started to adjust to the recent spike in cases.

She said that obtaining antigen test kits was still challenging and that she had just purchased some that had apparently been redirected to hospitals.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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