Wuhan virus and Chinese New Year: How China can contain epidemic

Around 400 million Chinese people are set to travel through the next few days, posing a stiff challenge to health authorities..

As the world gears up for the upcoming traditional Chinese New Year on January 25, the SARS-like virus continues to spread in China, casting a shadow over celebrations. Hundreds of people are set to travel to different locations in China and to other parts of the world, raising an alarm for the health authorities.

Countries across the world have stepped up the screening procedure for the people travelling from Wuhan and various other parts of the country. The WHO has issued warnings that the spread of the virus is possible. The SARS outbreak that originated in China happened between the years 2002 and 2003 and took the lives of around 800 people around the world.

Chinese New Year 2017: Glimpses of colourful spring festival celebrations in China
People perform a fire dragon dance under a shower of sparks from molten iron during the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 30, 2017. (Representational Image) Reuters

Reviewing plans to travel

While the outbreak has been growing in numbers and creating a sense of precaution among the people in China, the chances of changing the travel plans seem to be very less in Wuhan and other places. This was one of the major reasons why many countries including the US intensifying the screening process in the airports.

It is said that around 400 million Chinese people are set to travel through the next few days. The estimated number of travels to and from China is said to be around 3 billion. There are several migrant workers who will be travelling back home during the holiday. The general anxiety over the virus seems to be low even in Wuhan, which is said to have a population of 8 million.

China steps up efforts to contain the virus

People running gyms and pools who were contacted by Reuters said that there was no strict screening process to weed out anyone who is infected by the unknown virus. With official notice in order, people from Wuhan who are traveling from the Tianhe International airport are going through temperature tests before boarding the flights. But flight attendants have still not received any training with regard to the precautions to be taken. People who have seen the spread of the epidemic are deeply concerned because of the state of affairs.

With the travel plans being set China has slowly decided to step up precautionary measures to contain the virus from spreading across to the rest of the world. The National Health Commission said on Sunday that the departments should work together to prevent the virus from spreading out. The total number of people infected with the virus rose to 62 on Sunday.

Not as deadly as SARS?

Some experts believe that the virus isn't as deadly as SARS virus which broke out nearly a decade ago. China has started to implement broader screening for the virus which will hopefully save more lives from succumbing to the disease.

The strict screening process that many have implemented will check for symptoms that relate to the coronavirus. If the symptoms relate to the ones to that of nCONv, then the person will be detained for further checkups. The Ministry of Public Health has issued strict warning because of the New Year celebrations and the people traveling to China to watch the beautiful celebration within the country. The Chinese community from around the world celebrate the New Year in various places around the world.

Related topics : Coronavirus