fredag 29. januar 2021

To avoid a new COVID wave, China cancels Lunar New Year for millions

Every winter, Pang Qingguo, a fruit seller, makes the 1300-kilometre trip north to his ancestral home to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the biggest holiday of the year in China, with his family. The coronavirus ruined the festivities last year, stranding Pang in the northern city of Tangshan as many Chinese cities imposed lockdowns. Now, as China confronts a resurgence of the virus, the pandemic is set to spoil the holiday again as authorities announce onerous quarantine and testing rules to dissuade migrant workers such as Pang from travelling for the new year, which begins on February 12 this year.

Pang, who describes his home in the province of Heilongjiang as the “happiest place”, suffers anguish at the rules. He has taken to social media in recent days to express frustration about his situation and post photos of his seven-year-old daughter, whom he has not seen in more than a year. “Society is so cruel,” he wrote in one post.