Beijing residents rang in the Lunar New Year on Sunday with many lining up at the iconic Lama temple to pray for health, even as officials reported almost 13,000 new deaths caused by COVID-19 between Jan. 13 and 19.
Queues stretched for about one kilometre outside the temple, which had been repeatedly shut before COVID-19 restrictions ended last month, with thousands waiting to pray for their loved ones.
“Everybody’s finance or life has been greatly affected by these three years of pandemic,” Zhang, a 30-year-old student said. “Having been through the pandemic, now everybody appreciates life even more and this is the starting point of our hopes for the future.”
The death toll update from China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevent comes amid doubts over Beijing’s data transparency and remains extremely low by global standards, according to reports.