| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Chinese state media seek to reassure public over COVID

As authorities and official media worked to convince the populace that the COVID-19 outbreak sweeping the nation was under control and approaching its peak, thousands of Chinese came to the streets to celebrate the New Year.

As the virus spreads throughout the population, many people in large cities have continued to isolate, although New Year’s celebrations seemed to be largely untouched as people marked the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023.

In Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first identified at the end of 2019, residents said anxieties about the impact of easing strict zero-COVID restrictions to live with the disease had now abated – at least for the young and healthy.

“Basically, now my friends and I feel relatively positive and optimistic,” said a 29-year-old tutor surnamed Wu. “Many people are going out and about.”

“We all know that especially for the middle-aged and the elderly, especially those over 60 years old, especially those with underlying diseases, they will be affected by this virus,” he said.

A long line of people queued at the emergency department of Wuhan’s Tongji Hospital, a major facility for COVID-19 patients, such as 72-year-old resident Huang, who wanted to be identified by her surname only.

“I don’t feel well. I have no energy. I can’t breathe. I used to be in good health. I had X-rays to check my lungs… This hospital is a lot of trouble, you have to wait a long time,” she said.

  • Reuters