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Trains take workers back to factories

By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou | China Daily| Updated: 2022-02-10 Print


Workers wait at Guangzhou South Railway Station before taking buses to return to their jobs in Dongguan, Guangdong province, on Wednesday. QIU QUANLIN/CHINA DAILY

After arriving at Guangzhou South Railway Station in Guangdong's provincial capital on Wednesday afternoon, Zhang Ximei prepared to depart for nearby Dongguan, where she has worked in a garment factory for four years.

"Many of my fellow workers have also prepared to return to work," she said. "We are already familiar with the working and living environment in Dongguan."

Zhang, from Congjiang county, Guizhou province, a low-risk area for the spread of COVID-19, was one of 600 migrant workers who took a special high-speed train for an organized return to work in the Pearl River Delta region after the Spring Festival holiday.

"After staying at home for half a month during the holiday, I am happy to take the special train back to the city," said Zhang, 34.

Wednesday's arrival of the special train, which offered free tickets for migrant workers, marked the start of the organized return of workers to Guangdong, an economic powerhouse in South China.

The province's human resources and social security authority said two more such trains, carrying about 1,200 migrant workers from Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, will be organized in the coming days.

More than 8 million migrant workers left Guangdong to return to their hometowns for the Spring Festival holiday, which began on Jan 31, according to Guangdong authorities.

It is estimated that more than 90 percent will return to Guangdong after the holiday.

Human resources authorities in Guangzhou, Foshan, Dongguan, Jiangmen and other cities in the Pearl River Delta region are organizing job fairs for migrant workers from other regions and provinces, based on their local COVID-19 outbreak situations, Guangdong authorities said.

Health authorities in cities like Guangzhou and Dongguan have warned workers from medium- and high-risk areas to postpone plans to return to work.

Dongguan's health commission said migrant workers must report their health conditions to their work units after returning.

A man tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday after he took a high-speed train to Guangzhou from Baise, in the neighboring Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Saturday.

Guangxi authorities are racing against the clock to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and minimize the risk of COVID-19 as the number of confirmed cases in the region continues to grow.

Fifty-four new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were reported in the region, all in Baise, between noon Tuesday and noon Wednesday, bringing the total since Friday to 180, the region's health commission said on Wednesday.

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