COVID-19: Chinese New Year festivities make Quebec exiles in China fear the worst

The Chinese New Year festivities are likely to have an impact on the explosion of COVID-19 cases in China.

COVID-19: Chinese New Year festivities make Quebec exiles in China fear the worst

The Chinese New Year festivities are likely to have an impact on the explosion of COVID-19 cases in China. A situation that worries Quebecers on the spot.

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“It may be quite serious, because during the Chinese New Year, it is the time when everyone goes to their native village or goes to see their family. When we talk about 1.4 billion people who are going to be on vacation at the same time, it risks spreading very, very quickly, ”thinks a Quebecer living in Beijing, capital of China, who asked to remain anonymous. for fear of reprisals.

For several weeks, China has resumed normal life after three years of a very strict zero-COVID policy. But the lifting of intense health restrictions has brought an unprecedented wave of contamination to the country, overwhelming hospitals and crematoriums, as reported by several foreign media.

“Many of my friends tell me that they are worried about their grandparents because they are not vaccinated, that they are older and therefore more fragile”, explains the one who has lived in the Chinese capital for eight years.

Ugo de Montigny, a 42-year-old Quebec teacher, also quickly caught COVID in December.

“Right after the measures were lifted, I had brunch with friends. I think that out of 25 people, 22 of us have had COVID, ”says the man who has lived for six years in Kushan, near Shanghai.

Vaccination difficile

The two Quebecers also reported that it was difficult to find medication for treatment, because pharmacies have been emptied since the start of the wave of contamination.

And if the virus is spreading so quickly in the population, it is in particular because the vaccination campaigns have not been very important, supports the teacher from Montreal.

“There are [also] a lot of older people, who are most at risk and refractory, who are not vaccinated. They don't trust their government and if they hear the vaccine isn't very effective, they don't want to take it," he adds.

But with the big New Year's human migration, which is celebrated over 15 days until January 22, "the wave of December will perhaps be just a taste of what will be in February", fears the one who resides in Beijing.

End of quarantine

In addition, China yesterday lifted another very restrictive measure over the past three years, that of mandatory quarantine for travelers from abroad.

“I planned my trips, so I have a big smile. It feels really good,” rejoices Ugo de Montigny, who will soon be flying to Thailand.

The announcement of the end of the quarantine, made in December, prompted the Chinese to make many plans to travel abroad, with a dramatic increase in traffic on booking sites.

The prospect of a massive influx of Chinese tourists has prompted more than a dozen countries to impose screening tests on travelers from China.

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