Why is Coronavirus Not a Problem for 600 Million Chinese Tourists Thronging Popular Tourist Spots?

China's popular tourist destinations came to life during the National Holiday as the government encouraged traveling following months of strict lockdown

If Wuhan's Pool party was worthy of raising eyebrows, recent videos emerged on Chinese social media platforms, showing thousands of people flocking tourist attractions during the country's National Holiday (October 1-7) without adhering to the social distancing guidelines.

The country, where the novel Coronavirus first emerged in December 2019, claims to have contained the outbreak and the National Holiday was the first major occasion where people stepped out and mostly didn't follow social distancing guidelines. Huangshan Mountain, Great Wall, Shanghai Disney Land and other popular tourist attractions were swarmed with people.

Huangshan Mountain
China's Huangshan Mountain on normal days (Left) compared to the National Holiday Wikimedia Commons/ Pearvideo

No Social Distancing

With a drastic reduction in daily new cases of Coronavirus, China has opened up most of the businesses. However, social distancing rules still apply. But during the week, China returned to normalcy after months of strict lockdown measures.

Videos showed people swamping the Disneyland in Shanghai while a long queue was seen at the Huangshan Mountain, famous for granite mountains and scenic beauty. Similar scenes were also seen in Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, Henan, home to famous Chinese Buddhist arts.

Government Encouragement

While China celebrates the eight-day National Holiday every by making trips throughout the country, this year, it is of particular significance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like most other countries, China's tourism sector has suffered massive losses. Thus, the Chinese government has decided to encourage people to go out and make trips to bolster tourism.

As many as 600 million people are expected to visit popular Chinese tourist attractions during the National Holiday. It has forced the state railway to provide 1,000 additional trains every day. The tourism sector, as per Daily Mail, has also been offering discounted tickets and free entries to tourist spots. Thanks to the promotion, thousands of people thronged airports and train stations. Long queues and crowds were observed at Hangzhou train station.

Another Wave in Winter

However, with experts warning of another wave of Coronavirus during winter in China, the country is on shaky grounds. It has already recorded over 91,000 positive cases with more than 4,700 deaths. Director of the infectious disease department in Shanghai's Huashan Hospital, Zhang Wenhong, recently warned that another wave was imminent as an effective vaccine was at least a year away.

"In China, people have been asking if there will be a second wave of the pandemic in winter. Now that Europe is having a second wave, it is inevitable we will see the second wave of infections," Zhang said at a forum in Shanghai as reported by South China Morning Post.

Netizens were also not pleased with the scenes either. On social media, many were worried about the "crazy scenes" as the world is still reeling under the threat of the virus. However, it's only fair to go back to normalcy if a country has already managed to contain the outbreak. But experts have urged to be cautious. Globally, the virus has infected over 35 million people with a million dead.

Related topics : Coronavirus