China ready for 2021 Spring Festival travel rush, on high alert to prevent COVID-19
Published: Dec 24, 2020 02:58 PM

Passengers get on board a ferry at the Xiuying Port in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, Jan. 19, 2020. The Qiongzhou strait witnessed a travel rush peak as the Spring Festival is approaching. Photo:Xinhua

With the Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival around the corner, the preparation work for the annual travel rush have begun, as Chinese people head home to celebrate the winter break and a reunion with family members. 

Virologists seem confident for the festival, as compared with the last Spring Festival, because the country has been well prepared to prevent another wave of COVID-19 resurgence.

Spring Festival travel rush, or "chun-yun" is to kick off from January 28 and ends at March 8, according to China's National Development and Reform Commission. It's estimated that 3 billion person/trips will be made during the travel rush.

To safeguard the 40-day travel rush, the Commission has recently chaired a special meeting to analyze the passengers flow, coordinate the transportation capacity and study disease prevention measures.

China's Ministry of Transport said it would still ramp up efforts to prevent and control the virus throughout 2021, according to the 2021 National Working Conference on Transport held on Thursday.

According to the ministry, it will adjust, refine and perfect the prevention and control mechanism in transportation, improve pre-planning system for epidemic control and give full effort to ensure cold chain transportation of the vaccines. 

In addition, the ministry said it will intensify efforts to prevent the import from COVID-19 cases from overseas, the domestic rebound the COVID-19, the epidemics in international cold-chain transport. 

The ministry said it will strictly implement measures such as disinfection and ventilation of vehicles and bus stations, and enhance personal protection, passenger temperature measurement and information registration.

Judging from the domestic epidemic prevention and control situation, spring travel will not be affected by the COVID-19, Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"With closed-loop management, strict quarantine and  close contact surveillance measures in place, there should not be too much worry about a resurgence of COVID-19 in the country," Yang said.