With the Chinese Spring Festival coming close, China's state news agency Xinhua published a commentary article emphasizing the importance of caution and science in containing COVID-19.
"With a prudent, scientific approach to COVID-19 prevention and control, China has the capability and confidence to avoid a mass outbreak during the upcoming annual Spring Festival travel rush, despite seeing sporadic cases in several cities over the past few weeks," according to the article.
This year's 40-day Spring Festival travel rush, starting from late January with 407 million expected railway passenger trips, poses a new test for China's COVID-19 control. Yet the world's biggest annual human migration will not be much affected as the country has put in place strict measures, which have proven effective in preventing the mass spread of the coronavirus.
Amid uncertainties in the epidemic situation in winter, Chinese authorities launched prompt and more targeted responses to sporadic outbreaks in cities like Beijing, Chengdu, Shenyang and Dalian, and have quickly and effectively brought the local outbreak situation under control.
The country is now acquainted with the regularities of and experience gained from COVID-19 prevention and control, especially during times of pressure, such as school reopening, summer vacation and the National Day Golden Week holiday. It is entirely possible to stay safe during the upcoming travel rush thanks to epidemic preparedness, careful planning and proper deployment.
China has been exploring effective ways to address worldwide concerns over the risk of infection and the challenges to COVID-19 prevention and control brought by population mobility, taking proactive but prudent actions to prevent the resurgence of the virus. The country's education authorities have called for staggered holiday and spring semester schedules; factories are implementing staggered employee vacations; and people are advised to reduce unnecessary gatherings and cross-region travel, and to learn about local COVID-19 situations and related control policies in advance if travel is necessary.
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