China prepares for mass exodus as people rush to renew passports

China passport – Image Hui Yt Shiutterstock.com

Immigration offices across China have been inundated with applications to renew passports after three years of border closures.

According to news site Reuters on Monday, January 9 authorities a mass exodus as people seek to go on holiday, visit relatives and flee to the relative safety of areas with lower COVID-19 infections.

With the borders having reopened on Sunday following the historic protests, demand for foreign travel is said to be high despite many countries implementing travel restrictions.

Demand for outbound travel is expected to rise sharply but with flights scarce, the cost is likely to rocket. Pre-travel negative COVID-19 tests aren´t thought likely to dampen enthusiasm for travel particularly with no requirements in place for returning citizens.

Concerns remain over China´s figures, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) and others have called “unreliable.” The government continues to say they have the situation under control and they continue to report low numbers of deaths and infections.

But many officials have broken ranks and told of overflowing hospitals and queues at crematoriums, whilst social media posts confirm these reports.

The official newspaper of the Communist Party the People´s Daily wrote an article on the weekend praising the government´s policies. It said: “Life is moving forward again¡”

It continued saying that the country had moved from “preventing infection” to “preventing severe disease.

“Today, the virus is weak, we are stronger.”

China´s official figures of just 5,272 COVID-19 figures are among the lowest in the world, as are its reported deaths.

But with experts saying that as many as a million have or could die China is preparing for a mass exodus as people rush to renew passports and to book foreign travel.


 

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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