China’s latest COVID challenge: Lunar New Year holiday travel surge

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Coronavirus Update: Lunar New Year travel is China’s next COVID challenge

China is hoping to avoid an acceleration in the pace of new COVID cases during the coming Lunar New Year holiday, when Chinese people traditionally travel home to see family, the Associated Press reported. The Lunar New Year begins on Jan. 23 this year.

People using public transportation are also urged to wear masks and pay special attention to their health and personal hygiene, Xu Chengguang, vice minister of transportation, told reporters at a briefing. In the U.S., the seven-day average of new cases stood at 65,083 on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker. That’s down 8% from two weeks ago and below the recent peak of 70,508 on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to update data on new variants later Friday. The data are expected to show that XBB.1.5, a new BA.5 sublineage that accounted for 40.5% of U.S. cases in the week through Dec. 31, has remained dominant. XBB.1.5 accounted for less than 2% of new cases in early December.


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