- Hong Kong saw a massive surge of inbound and outbound travelers after Chief Executive John Lee uplifted its mandatory COVID-19 hotel quarantine protocol last week.
- Travel agency Trip.com reportedly saw a 400% increase in outbound bookings on Sept. 24 and Sept. 25 compared to the previous weekend, while inbound bookings surged by 150%.
- Flight bookings for Osaka, one of the recent top destinations alongside Tokyo, Bangkok and Singapore, were up by 7,300%, the website noted.
- Ticket prices have also increased amid the influx of travelers.
- “I’m conscious of the fact that, while we need to control the spread of COVID, we also need to ensure that there will be maximum activities in society and economic activities for society to carry on,” Lee said.
Plane ticket prices to and from Hong Kong recently underwent a massive surge after the city announced it would finally ease its COVID-19 protocols for arriving tourists and returning residents.
For the first time in two-and-a-half years, tourists can now enter Hong Kong without having to do a mandatory weeks-long hotel quarantine at their own expense.
- Shanghai’s 26 million residents have been in complete lockdown since April 1 as part of China’s zero-COVID strategy and the Omicron variant’s extreme contagiousness.
- On Sunday, three elderly Shanghai residents, two of them 91 years old and one 89, were the first to reportedly die from COVID- related causes since March 2020.
- Prior to the reports, quarantine had residents growing increasingly restless and desperate, with videos of people angrily clashing with police on the streets surfacing online.
- Negative social media posts about the Shanghai lockdown have reportedly outpaced government efforts to censor these clips from surfacing.
- Exhausted local officials are also now reportedly worried about the practicality of a zero-COVID strategy, which was once a point of pride for the communist country.
Three elderly Shanghai residents, all close to 90 years in age, are the first official COVID-19 deaths reported in China since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
After the extremely contagious Omicron variant led to Shanghai’s worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic, with over 320,000 people reportedly infected in early March, the city sent its 26 million residents back to a complete lockdown on April 1 per its zero-COVID strategy.
- Concerns have been raised over poor isolation conditions in quarantine hotels at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
- Athletes have reported questionable COVID-19 testing processes, lack of edible food and stressful conditions affecting mental health.
- Natalia Maliszewska, a Polish short track speed skater, recalled having a traumatic experience with the quarantine hotels after several conflicting COVID-19 tests.
Several athletes at the 2022 Beijing Olympics have voiced their concerns over the conditions of quarantine hotels and the distressing treatment they have faced while in isolation.
Many of the Olympic participants placed in quarantine hotels after testing positive have reported conditions causing a deterioration in mental health, poor food options and unclear procedures on if and when they can leave, reported MSN.
Chinese woman in strict quarantine helplessly watches her dog destroy her home through surveillance cam
- A Chinese woman, identified only as Liu, had to watch her dog destroy her sofa and other belongings via surveillance camera while going through a 14-day quarantine in the city of Xi’an.
- “At least my dog is still healthy. It hasn't eaten anything that bad. In seven days, we can return home, and things will get better," Liu said. “The house may be trashed, but we can clean it up, and it'll be okay."
A helpless Chinese woman reportedly had to watch her dog destroy all of the things in her living room and wardrobe via surveillance camera during the first half of a 14-day quarantine.
The woman, identified only as Liu, left her dog with enough food and water before leaving her home to quarantine for 14 days due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the city of Xi’an, according to HouLang News via Insider.
Chinese couple trapped for a month together on their second date due to sudden COVID lockdown get engaged
- A Chinese man and woman who planned a one-day date were trapped for a month at home together due to an unexpected COVID-19 lockdown.
- The woman, Zhao Xiaoqing, announced their engagement plans after she found that she and her lockdown partner, Zhao Fei, had “compatible souls.”
A Chinese woman who was trapped on a month-long date due to a COVID-19 lockdown in Shaanxi province announced engagement plans to her quarantine date.
The woman, Zhao Xiaoqing, aged 28, had arranged a one-day date with Zhao Fei (who is of the same age) from Xianyang, Shaanxi Province, but a day unexpectedly turned into a month-long live-in date when a sudden COVID-19 lockdown measure was put in place.
- Photos and videos of quarantine camps in Xi’an were revealed online this week.
- Twitter user @songpinganq reshared a string of videos taken by quarantined individuals showing the rows of temporary housing and the scarce conditions inside the boxes.
- Social media users say officials have been transporting hundreds of pregnant women, children and eldery to these quarantine camps since the start of the year.
Photos and videos from Chinese quarantine camps show that government officials are isolating residents in what looks like hundreds of metal boxes.
A Chinese woman found herself stuck inside her blind date’s house for a few days after parts of his city were placed under a COVID-19 lockdown during their dinner date.
The woman, identified as Wang, was reportedly visiting Zhengzhou City in Henan Province when the lockdown occurred, according to CBS News.
- China locked down the city of Anyang, bringing the total number of Chinese residents in quarantine to 20 million people.
- Anyang joins Xi’an and Yuzhou as the latest Chinese city to be locked down due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
The Chinese city of Anyang joined Xi’an and Yuzhou in lockdown because of a COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Associated Press (AP).
On Monday, the government announced that they were locking down the city after two cases of Omicron were reported. It is not clear how long the lockdown of Anyang is expected to last.
- Residents of Xi’an, a locked down city in China under quarantine, continue to suffer health issues and supply shortages.
- A video of a woman pleading for period products from a health worker went viral on Weibo last week.
- Male Chinese social media users responded by saying the woman was being “dramatic” and “self-centered.”
A video of a resident from the city of Xi’an, which has been on lockdown since Dec. 22, went viral as the city continues to suffer health issues and supply shortages.
Xi’an, home to about 13 million people, has been on strict lockdown after the government reported over 1,000 residents (well over 1,600 as of last week, according to CNN) tested positive for COVID-19 in December, reported the New York Times.
- The Philippines is facing a new COVID-19 surge, with cases concentrated in the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila.
- NCR mayors have agreed “in principle” to restrict the movement of unvaccinated constituents.
- President Rodrigo Duterte said barangay captains, or village leaders, are empowered to arrest those who refuse to stay at home.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered local officials in the National Capital Region (NCR) to arrest unvaccinated individuals who refuse to stay at home.
“I’m now giving order to the barangay captains to look for those persons who are not vaccinated and just request them — or order them if you may — to stay put,” Duterte said on Thursday, according to CNN Philippines. “And if [they] refuse and go around the community, [they] can be restrained.
A nurse in Singapore is now behind bars after violating a home quarantine order multiple times that included leaving to buy some boba.
Nurul Afiqah Binte Mohammed, 22, who was formerly employed at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), was given a 14-day stay-home notice after returning from a vacation in Australia on March 21, 2020.
Amid the country’s stay-at-home orders to contain the mass spread of the coronavirus, several claims from right-wing pundits and politicians have emerged, comparing quarantine to Japanese American concentration camps from WWII.What the politicans and protestors had to say
One America News (OAN) host, Graham Ledger, for one, labeled the stay-at-home orders a “conspiracy” by Democrats, according to the video and transcript from Media Matters.