There are signs that the long, cold coronavirus winter may be subsiding with the arrival of spring. Since 20 February, the number of railway passenger trips has picked up with an average daily increase of 60,000 as Chinese return to work. Normal services has returned to hospitals in cities like Shanghai, and even Wuhan reportedly has a surplus of hospital beds.?China’s top container ports have unclogged their backlog as virus curbs ease. An Alibaba research unit survey of nearly 24,000 Chinese micro, small and medium enterprise respondents found 66% expressed optimism about business opportunities for the remainder of the year.
It seems the outbreak of the novel coronavirus may have peaked in late February, and is expected to level off in late April.
However, people have been slower to get back to public transport with 63% less Shanghai metro users than normal. Those riding the subway have seen slower queues as passengers’ temperatures are scanned, all standing a metre apart. Chinese are even starting to consider travelling again, with a 138% increase in flight searches on Elong over early April’s Qingming Festival holiday period.
The country’s tech infrastructure allows people to consume with less fear of contracting the virus. With ecommerce penetration greater than 20%, consumers can conveniently buy everything they need and have it delivered quickly without leaving the safe confines of their apartment. If they do venture out, there is barely a single location in China where you have to pay with cash. Apps for everything from reserving a spot in the queue to food delivery don’t just make life more convenient in China, but also make it safer during these unique times.