[北京 １８日 ロイター] – China’s major cities fell eerily quiet on Wednesday as people confined to their homes amid a surge in new coronavirus infections.
Wu Chunyou, chief epidemiology expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said China is now in the first of three waves of infections expected this winter, with the Chinese New Year holidays in January. More waves are expected as people return to their hometowns all at once.
There have been no reported deaths from the coronavirus since the government lifted most of its zero-corona policy on Wednesday. There were 2,097 new symptomatic cases reported on Thursday.
In Beijing, the capital of 22 million people, the highly contagious Omikron strain has spread, and has already caused a shortage of workers for a wide range of services, from food delivery to crematoriums and parcel deliveries.
In the northwestern city of Xi’an, a subway with few passengers was posted on social media, while the commercial hub of Shanghai lacked its usual New Year’s hustle and bustle.
Shanghai authorities instructed schools to start classes online in principle from the 19th, and Hangzhou was encouraged to bring forward the end of the winter semester.
Wu, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Monday that the current outbreak will peak this winter, and predicted three waves in about three months, according to state media. The first wave of infections occurred from mid-December to mid-January, mainly in urban areas, and the second wave occurred from late January to mid-February next year, triggered by mass migrations before the Lunar New Year holidays. I thought I would. A third wave is expected from late February to mid-March as people return to work after the holidays.
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