About 20,000 tourists flocked to a popular mountain range in China over the weekend – forcing authorities to close it – as the country eased its restrictions on coronaviruses.
Photos and videos circulating on the social media platform Weibo show groups of visitors wearing masks who walk the paths and scramble for space in the Huangshan or Yellow mountains in Anhui province, Saturday and Sunday.
They had gathered for the traditional Ching Ming festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, according to South China Morning Post.
Since Saturday, the government of Anhui Province has offered free entry to 29 sites, including Huangshan, to encourage tourism, the newspaper reported.
Visitors had to show their state of health on an app, have their temperature checked before entering, and wear surgical masks.
Park authorities said on Sunday that they had been forced to close the popular destination as the number of visitors reached its daily limit of 20,000.
Anhui, which shares its western border with Hubei province – the initial epicenter of the deadly virus – last reported a new case of coronavirus on February 27, according to official figures quoted by the outlet.
A total of 990 cases, including six deaths, have been reported in the province.
China reported 82,665 cases of coronavirus and 3,212 deaths on Monday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States, Spain, Italy, Germany and France each recorded more cases than China.
“I think China is closely monitoring COVID-19 detections and may need to address the social distancing measures that are necessary to keep COVID-19 contained,” said Benjamin Cowling, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Hong Kong. exit. “For now, it may be okay to relax certain measures, but these measures should be tightened if the number of cases increases.”
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