Beijing smog casts gloom over China's Lunar New Year holiday
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[February 13, 2021]
By Martin Quin Pollard
BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing was once again
shrouded in smog on Saturday after several days of heavy pollution which
have plagued China’s capital during the Lunar New Year national holiday.
Visibility across Beijing was severely limited by the smog on the second
day of Lunar New Year, with the tops of the city's Beijing’s tallest
group of buildings in the east of the city almost completely covered by
The PM 2.5 level - which measures pollution - in the city's urban areas
reached 239 micrograms per cubic meter according to state news agency
Local authorities had issued a yellow alert for heavy air pollution on
Thursday. China has a colour-coded, four-tier warning system for air
pollution, with red the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and
"The air is horrible," said cosmetics sector worker Katie Li, 35, as she
made her way to the gym."
"Starting the Lunar New Year with this kind of weather is a bit
depressing," she added.
Staff at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China in the north of
Beijing said that they had received around 5,000 visitors on Saturday, a
far cry from their usual daily capacity of 20,000 although they have
capped numbers to around half of that due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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A man wearing face mask walks on the street during a day with
polluted air, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19), in Beijing, China February 13, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos
Some visitors complained about the haze affecting the views. But
others, such as 32-year-old banking sector worker Brandon Chen, were
unfazed by the conditions.
"Even though the air isn't great, for Chinese people walking up to a
high point in the new year carries a lot of importance,” Chen said.
"Doing so will mean things will get better and better for you in
your life and you'll become more prosperous with each passing day,"
(Reporting by Martin Pollard in Beijing; Additional reporting by
Brenda Goh. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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