'What could go wrong?' Alarming China photos emerge amid pandemic

·Lifestyle Editor
·3-min read

Alarming photos have emerged as millions of China’s residents swarm popular tourist attractions as part of an eight-day national holiday.

The images from around the country show people crammed onto the Great Wall of China and the ancient city wall in Xi An in scenes that could only replicate life before the coronavirus pandemic.

With lockdown barely relaxing in Victoria, Spain fighting a second wave of the virus and Britain’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance saying "things are definitely heading in the wrong direction" – on the other side of the world it is a different story.

In China, where the coronavirus outbreak began late last year, people have revelled in its first post-coronavirus Golden Week holiday, with hundreds of millions on the move around the country.

Chinese tourists crowd in a bottleneck as they move slowly on a section of the Great Wall at Badaling.
Chinese tourists crowd the Great Wall during the Golden Week holiday. Source: Getty

A picture taken on October 5 shows hordes of people shoulder to shoulder while visiting the ancient wall, many of whom were not wearing masks.

Another image shows tourists crammed into Beijing streets while others caused a bottleneck on the Great Wall of China.

Officials were expecting the Golden Week holiday to boost tourism, with tickets to the Great Wall selling out most days with capacity capped at 75 per cent.

Holiday photos spark outrage

People on Twitter across the world were shocked by the images, with one saying: “My brain can’t comprehend this.”

“No mask and no social distancing,” another said.

“What could possibly go wrong?” a third added.

“Meanwhile the rest of the world goes to s***,” somebody else claimed.

Others suggested however the pictures were a clear indication of China’s recovery from the coronavirus.

With the Golden Week holiday marking the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic, Beijing resident Huo Binxing said people were “travelling with a vengeance”.

Tourists visit the ancient city wall during 8-day National Day holiday.
Tourists converge on the ancient city wall in Xi An. Source: Getty

“It’s our first chance to unwind after such a stressful period,” he said.

Mainland China reported seven new Covid cases on October 6, down from 12 cases a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Wednesday. It reports 205 active cases among its population of 1.4 billion people.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that all new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas. There has been no confirmed symptomatic local transmissions reported in the country for two months.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 24 on October 6 from 31 a day earlier.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus data, China has had more than 90,000 total coronavirus cases and 4739 deaths.

In Shaanxi province where the Great Wall photo is taken there have been 414 coronavirus cases, and there are currently 22 active cases according to national health figures.

425 million domestic tourist trips made in four days

Reuters reports China saw 425 million domestic tourist trips made during the first four days of National Day holiday, which was 78.4 per cent of the number of the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The tourism revenue reached 312.02 billion yuan ($A64.4b), accounting for 68.9 per cent of the amount last year.

On Sunday, the fourth day of the eight-day break, tourist attractions across China received 110 million visitors with domestic tourism revenue registering 80.79 billion yuan ($A16.7b).

Pictured are hundreds of people at Jingshan Park in Beijing during the country's national "Golden Week" holiday.
People visit Jingshan Park during the country's national "Golden Week" holiday. Source: Getty

This year, the "Golden Week" of China's National Day holiday lasts for eight days as the Mid-Autumn Festival coincided with the country's National Day.

The latest images come after photos from Wuhan, believed to be the epicentre of the virus, sparked outrage in August after thousands of people attended a pool party.

with Reuters and AFP

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