Thousands flock to traditional Spring Festival flower market in Chinese city of Guangzhou despite recent record of Covid-related deaths
Tens of thousands of people flocked to the traditional Spring Festival flower market in the city of Guangzhou in northeast China, after it reopened on January 20, 2020 following a three-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The market’s reopening has been met with increased concern, however, due to the recent record of Covid-related deaths in the country.
China reported nearly 13,000 deaths related to Covid in hospitals between January 13 and 19. This has led to questions over the country’s statistics since Beijing lifted its controls last month. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 681 hospitalized patients had died of respiratory failure due to the coronavirus and over 11,000 had died of other illnesses in combination with the virus.
Airfinity, an independent consultant, estimated that China’s daily death rate would peak at 36,000 over the Lunar New Year this weekend, with the total death count since December’s zero-Covid policy surpassing 600,000. Despite these fears and the record of Covid-related deaths, millions of people traveled this weekend to reunite with their family and celebrate the Chinese New Year on Sunday.
However, there may be hope as Wu Zunyou, head of epidemiology from the CDC, said in a post on the Weibo social network that the 80% of the population have already contracted the virus and in the “next two to three months the possibility of a second wave of the epidemic in the country is very low.”