omicron Silent New Year’s Eve; many people hope that 2022 will be better

Wellington, New Zealand-2021 will be smooth sailing. Let 2022 bring new hope.

This is a common sentiment, because people all over the world are beginning to welcome new Year.

In many places, due to the surge in coronavirus infections, New Year’s Eve celebrations were muted or cancelled for the second year in a row, this time driven by the highly contagious variant of omicron.

Even before the advent of omicron, many people happily bid farewell to the second year of the pandemic.

But at least so far, the surge in omicron has not led to the same levels of hospitalizations and deaths as in previous outbreaks—especially among vaccinated populations—bringing a silver lining to 2022.

New Zealand is one of the first places to celebrate this festival new Year Low-key light displays are projected onto Auckland landmarks, including the Sky Tower and the Harbour Bridge. That replaced the traditional firework show. Although there has not been any community transmission of omicron in New Zealand, the authorities still hope to prevent crowds from gathering.

However, despite the surge in virus cases, neighbouring Australia continues to celebrate. Some fireworks are set off in the evening, allowing young children to preview the core of the celebration, the famous fireworks display of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

A few hours before the celebration, Australian health authorities reported a record 32,000 new cases of the virus, many of them in Sydney. Due to the surge, the crowds are far fewer than in the previous years of the pandemic, when as many as 1 million revelers gathered in central Sydney.

Because of the location of the international date line, countries in Asia and the Pacific are among the first to usher in their respective dates. new Year.

In Japan, author Naoki Matsuzawa said that he will cook and deliver food for the elderly in the next few days because some stores will be closed. He said that despite the emergence of new variants, vaccination has made people less worried about the pandemic.

Matsuzawa, who lives in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo, said: “The numbness has already begun, and we are no longer overly afraid.” “Some of us are beginning to take it for granted that this will not happen to me.”

Like many others, Matsuzawa hopes that life will improve in 2022.

“I hope the restrictions can disappear,” he said.

Across Japan, many people plan to ride new Year A trip to spend time with family. On New Year’s Eve, people crowded with temples and shrines, most of them wearing masks.

However, some people seem to be dismissive of the fear of the virus. They ate and drank noisily in central Tokyo, flocking to shops, not only celebrating the holidays, but also excited about getting rid of the recent virus restrictions.

In Seoul, the capital of South Korea, the annual new YearDue to the surge in cases, the eve of the bell ringing ceremony was cancelled for the second year in a row.

Officials said that this year’s pre-recorded video of the bell ringing ceremony will be broadcast online and on TV. The ceremony had previously attracted tens of thousands of people. Last year’s cancellation was the first cancellation of the ceremony since it began in 1953.

South Korean authorities also plan to close many beaches and other tourist attractions on the east coast, which are usually crowded with people hoping to catch the first sunrise of the year. On Friday, South Korea said it would extend the strict distance rules for another two weeks.

In India, millions of people plan to new Year In major cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai, night curfews and other restrictions have eliminated the hustle and bustle of celebrations.

With the surge in cases triggered by omicron, the authorities have implemented restrictions to keep revellers away from restaurants, hotels, beaches and bars.

However, due to the small number of infected people, some places including the tourist paradise Goa and the information technology center Hyderabad have been exempted from curfews, although other restrictions still apply.

After the government banned many New Year’s Eve celebrations, many Indonesians also gave up the usual celebrations and spent a quiet night at home. In Jakarta, fireworks displays, parades, and other large gatherings are banned, while restaurants and shopping malls are allowed to remain open but with curfews.

Vietnam has also cancelled firework shows and celebrations. In Hanoi, the authorities closed the central streets, while in Ho Chi Minh City, audiences were forbidden to watch live countdown performances and broadcast them on social media instead.

In Hong Kong, about 3,000 people plan to participate new Year‘s Eve concert, inviting local celebrities to participate, including the boy band Mirror.The concert will be the biggest new YearThe Eve event, held since 2018, was cancelled due to political conflict in 2019 and last year due to the pandemic.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Municipal Government has cancelled events including the annual light show held along the Huangpu River in the city centre, which usually attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators.

Since mid-December, there have been no plans for public celebrations in Beijing, and popular temples there have been closed or restricted access. The government urges people to avoid leaving the Chinese capital as much as possible, and requires that travelers from infected areas be tested.

Popular temples in major cities such as Nanjing and Hangzhou in eastern China cancel their traditions new YearThe eve of the “Lucky Bell” ceremony and asked the public to stay away.

But in Thailand, the authorities allow new YearDespite strict safety measures, the New Year’s Eve party and fireworks display will continue. They hope to slow down the spread of omicron variants and at the same time alleviate the blow to the country’s hard-hit tourism industry. new YearThe eve prayers that are usually held in Buddhist temples across Thailand will be changed to be held online.

In the Philippines, a strong typhoon two weeks ago destroyed the basic necessities of tens of thousands of people in advance. new YearEve. More than 400 people were killed by Typhoon Lai, and at least 82 people are still missing. Half a million houses were damaged or destroyed.

17-year-old mother Leahmer Singson lost her home in a fire last month, and then a typhoon blew away her temporary wooden house in Cebu City.She will welcome new Year With her husband who works in a glass and aluminum factory, and her 1-year-old baby in a crumbling tent in a coastal clearing and the sun.

Ask what she wants new YearSingson has a simple wish: “I hope we won’t get sick.”

Associated Press reporter Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo; Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea; Ashok Sharma in New Delhi; Niniek Karmini and Edna Tarigan in Jakarta, Indonesia; Hau Dinh in Hanoi, Vietnam; Zen Soo in Hong Kong; Tassanee Vejpongsa in Bangkok; Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines; Associated Press researcher Chen Si in Shanghai contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.



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