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Will lift more Covid curbs after Lunar New Year, says Hong Kong health minister

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Will lift more Covid curbs after Lunar New Year, says Hong Kong health minister

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Will lift more Covid curbs after Lunar New Year, says Hong Kong health minister

Photo for illustration. AP

New Delhi: Hong Kong’s health minister has expressed hope town will lift more of its remaining coronavirus curbs after Lunar New Year.

According to a report in South China Morning Post, the additional easing of restrictions was set to go forward whilst Covid-19 instances had been anticipated to surge after the vacation interval, Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau mentioned, explaining town had a “better immunity barrier” in opposition to the virus and a well-equipped healthcare system.

Meanwhile, individuals throughout China rang within the Lunar New Year on Sunday with giant household gatherings and crowds visiting temples after the federal government lifted its strict “zero-COVID” coverage, marking the largest festive celebration for the reason that pandemic started three years in the past.

“He has never experienced what a traditional new year is like because he was too young three years ago and he had no memory of that,” mentioned Si Jia, who introduced her 7-year-old son to the Qianmen space close to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to expertise the festive vibe and study conventional Chinese tradition.

The Lunar New Year is crucial annual vacation in China. Each yr is called after one of many 12 indicators of the Chinese zodiac in a repeating cycle, with this yr being the Year of the Rabbit. For the previous three years, celebrations had been muted within the shadow of the pandemic.

With the easing of most COVID-19 restrictions that had confined thousands and thousands to their houses, individuals may lastly make their first journey again to their hometowns to reunite with their households with out worrying in regards to the hassles of quarantine, potential lockdowns and suspension of journey. Larger public celebrations additionally returned for what is named the Spring Festival in China, with the capital internet hosting 1000’s of cultural occasions — on a bigger scale than a yr in the past.

Nearly 53,000 provided prayers at Beijing’s Lama Temple however the crowds seemed to be smaller in comparison with pre-pandemic days. The Tibetan Buddhist website permits as much as 60,000 guests a day, citing security causes, and requires an advance reservation.

Throngs of residents and vacationers swarmed pedestrian streets in Qianmen, having fun with snacks from barbecue and New Year rice cake stands, and a few kids wore conventional Chinese rabbit hats. Others held blown sugar or marshmallows formed like rabbits.

At Taoranting Park, there was no signal of the same old bustling new yr meals stalls regardless of its walkways being embellished with conventional Chinese lanterns. A well-liked temple truthful at Badachu Park that was suspended for 3 years can be again this week, however related occasions at Ditan Park and Longtan Lake Park have but to return.

The mass motion of individuals could trigger the virus to unfold in sure areas, mentioned Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist at China’s Center for Disease Control. But a large-scale COVID-19 surge can be unlikely within the subsequent two or three months as a result of about 80% of the nation’s 1.four billion individuals have been contaminated throughout the latest wave, he wrote on the social media platform Weibo on Saturday.

The middle reported 12,660 COVID-19-related deaths between January 13 and 19, together with 680 instances of respiratory failure brought on by the virus and 11,980 fatalities from different illnesses mixed with COVID-19. These are on prime of 60,000 fatalities reported final week since early December. The assertion on Saturday mentioned the deaths occurred in hospitals, which implies anybody who died at dwelling wouldn’t be included within the tally.

China has counted solely deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure in its official COVID-19 demise toll, a slim definition that excludes many deaths that will be attributed to COVID-19 in a lot of the world.

In Hong Kong, revelers flocked to town’s largest Taoist temple, Wong Tai Sin, to burn the primary incense sticks of the yr. The in style ritual was suspended the final two years because of the pandemic.

Traditionally, large crowds collect earlier than 11 p.m. on Lunar New Year’s Eve, with everybody making an attempt to be the primary, or among the many first, to place their incense sticks into the stands in entrance of the temple’s foremost corridor. Worshippers consider those that are among the many first to put their incense sticks will stand the most effective probability of getting their prayers answered.

Resident Freddie Ho, who visited the temple on Saturday evening, was joyful that he may be part of the occasion in individual.

“I hope to place the first incense stick and pray that the New Year brings world peace, that Hong Kong’s economy will prosper, and that the pandemic will go away from us and we can all live a normal life,” Ho mentioned. “I believe this is what everyone wishes.”

Meanwhile, the crowds praying for success on the historic Longshan Temple in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, had been smaller than a yr in the past even because the pandemic has eased. That is partly as a result of many had ventured to different elements of Taiwan or abroad on long-awaited journeys.

As communities throughout Asia welcomed the Year of the Rabbit, the Vietnamese had been celebrating the Year of the Cat as an alternative. There’s no official reply to elucidate the distinction. But one principle suggests cats are in style as a result of they typically assist Vietnamese rice farmers to push back rats.

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  Hong Kong will lift more Covid curbs after Lunar New Year



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