Shocking water park photos emerge as China faces virus spike

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·2-min read

Alarming images of hundreds of carefree swimmers crammed into water parks in China have emerged online despite coronavirus still festering in some parts of the country.

Scores of users took to Chinese social media site Weibo over the weekend to share photos of multiple water parks across the country as summer temperatures soared.

One concerning image from the Twitter-like site showed hundreds of people shoulder to shoulder with all but no social distancing at the Maya Paradise water park in Nanchang, Jiangxi province.

Thousands cram into a swimming pool over the weekend in Nanchang. Source: Weibo
Thousands cram into a swimming pool over the weekend in Nanchang. Source: Weibo

Chinese state media publication China Daily also has shared a strikingly similar image on Monday with large crowds with inflatable rings, waving glow sticks and being sprayed by water.

“Water parks, seaside resorts and many other waterfront attractions across China have become top spots for people to go to escape the summer heat,” the english language publication explained.

And while it is unclear when and where the image was taken, it was similar to the party scenes shared across Chinese social media.

Photos taken by Getty Images at a water park in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, last week also shows hundreds standing in a wave pool during the day.

Chinese media has documented how thousands of residents are flocking to water parks amid the coronavirus pandemic. Source: China Daily/ Twitter
Chinese media has documented how thousands of residents are flocking to water parks amid the coronavirus pandemic. Source: China Daily/ Twitter

Virus spikes once again in China

And while China has prided itself in its ability to suppress the virus’s spread, first in the original epicentre of Wuhan and then around the nation, it has seen an uptick in cases in recent weeks.

The nation last week recorded its highest surge in cases since its spike in February. On Friday it confirmed 127 new cases, the majority in the western province of Xinjiang.

Its capital Urumqi has since gone into a strict lockdown, with the suspension of public transport and limits on leaving the home.

Tourists play in a water park to escape the heat, in Guiyang City on Thursday. Source: Getty
Tourists play in a water park to escape the heat, in Guiyang City on Thursday. Source: Getty

Dalian, a city in the northeastern province of Liaoning, has also experienced a surge in cases and is under widespread restrictions.

Cases have also been detected in the capital Beijing.

On Sunday, China recorded 54 new cases, 11 of which were asymptomatic.

The alarming images prompted a strong reaction online, some suggesting the media broadcasting such photos was showing off how well the nation has managed to contain COVID-19.

“Imagine having this much of handle on the pandemic,” one person wrote.

“A lot different from the beaches on the other side of the Pacific...” another said.

One person called the photos “excessive”.

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