China’s New Year approaches and with it the danger of a revival of Covid-19 in China.
The FT refers to “the annual human migration on earth” which in 2019 led to 1.15bn trips. This year China is working hard to minimise long distance travel.
So far mass testing, quarantines and contract tracing have “smothered Covid-19 transmission” allowing the economy to stage a rapid recovery.
Measures to discourage internal movement include cash gifts, streaming gigabytes and free entry to local tourist attractions. Some local authorities have banned entry to outsiders.
Recently there have been clusters of Covid-19 cases in Hebei, Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces. The FT reports that efforts to discourage travel have focused on the estimated 300m “floating population” of internal migrants who work contract-to-contract with a planned annual break over the holiday.
The Party is exhorting the people to stay put and, thereby, “contribute to epidemic prevention work”.