BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- China has encouraged people to stay local for the upcoming Spring Festival, or the Lunar New Year holiday, which is reflected by the remarkable drop in the number of passengers in the world's largest annual human migration.
By Tuesday, the Chinese mainland had reported no new locally-transmitted COVID-19 confirmed cases for three days in a row. It is attributed to the concerted efforts of the government and the people, and staying put for the festival will help keep the encouraging momentum going.
As the most populous country in the world, China's practice of controlling COVID-19 by reducing population mobility also contributes to the world's anti-virus fight.
Official data showed that some 1.15 billion passenger trips are expected to be made during the 40-day Spring Festival travel season that lasts until March 8, a decrease of more than 20 percent from last year and a plunge of over 60 percent from the level in 2019.
Every tough choice to stay put for the Spring Festival is an individual sacrifice, giving up the cherished opportunity to spend time with loved ones in the interests of the nation.
For some, especially the hundreds of millions of migrant workers in China, the New Year holiday may represent their only chance to see their children and aging parents all year, an opportunity they certainly would not want to miss. Yet the government's advice was widely understood, with many choosing to stay put.
China regards the rights to life and health as the most fundamental human rights. By sacrificing the family reunions of some, the country is striving to protect the life, health and freedom of many more.
The Chinese people have a spirit of devotion and self-discipline. That is why they can now enjoy a fast-recovering economy and freedom of movement, an unattainable wish in many other places around the world.
The Chinese nation also upholds collectivism and patriotism. From the "sacrifice of a province to save the world from coronavirus" a year ago, as Bloomberg put in one of its news headlines, to the ongoing "stay-put" drive, the sacrifices made by Chinese individuals and families for the collective good are a constant theme.
Both history and reality show that the future of families is closely connected with that of the nation. A nation can thrive only when its families do well, and similarly, only when a nation does well can its families prosper.
Staying put is a recommendation rather than a mandate, with the final decision left to individuals. However, it is a test of the government's effectiveness as it seeks to strike a delicate balance between ensuring overall safety and facilitating family reunions.
To ease people's homesickness, local governments have rolled out various measures to assist those who choose to stay put, and in the meantime ensured that anti-epidemic measures for those who choose to go back to their hometowns are not excessive. Enditem