Although all the precautionary steps taken in recent days and the news coming out every minute may be making some people nervous, we should take this all as a good sign that the government is working hard to stay on top of the situation. It's clear that China has learned a lot from previous outbreaks and is working hard to keep us all safe. Here's a recap with official sources of the latest novel Coronavirus (2019 n Cov) news.

 

Spring Festival Holiday Officially Extended to Feb 2nd

The General Office of the State Council issued a notice on the 27th regarding the extension of the Spring Festival holiday in 2020. The notice extends the Spring Festival holiday of 2020 to February 2 (the ninth day of the first lunar month and Sunday), with normal work resuming from February 3 (Monday). Additionally, the start of schools is postponed for universities, primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, etc. Specific commencement dates for classes will be announced later by the education department. Finally, employees who cannot take vacation due to epidemic prevention and control shall arrange compensatory leave in accordance with the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China. Wages and salaries for unscheduled leave shall be guaranteed in accordance with relevant policies.

Source: 定了!国务院通知:春节假期延长到2月2日

 

Hong Kong and Macau Close their Borders to those from Wuhan's Hubei Province. Hong Kong self-service channels have been closed to tourists.

Starting at 00:00 this morning, all residents of Hubei Province and non-Hong Kong residents who have been to Hubei within the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter Hong Kong until further notice, the government announced through the Information Office that the Chief Executive of the SAR. Additionally, in order to facilitate the implementation of the above measures, starting from from 0:00 on the 27th, the self-service passages at all ports will only be open to Hong Kong residents. All non-Hong Kong residents must use the general immigration counters to complete entry procedures. Lin Zhengyue, Chief Executive of the SAR, announced on the 25th that Hong Kong's response level to new coronavirus infection pneumonia was raised to the highest "emergency" and implemented a series of anti-epidemic strategies and measures. The Macao SAR Government held a press conference at 17:00 on the 26th to announce that it also will restrict the entry of people from Hubei to Macau from the early morning of the 27th. Entry requires the submission of a doctor's certificate that does not have an infectious disease and restricts people who have been to Hubei Province from entering entertainment venues within 14 days.

Source: 注意!今日起港澳两地限制湖北人士入境,香港自助通道已对旅客关闭

 

China CDC begins R&D of Vaccine. International Organizations Join the Fight

Xinghua News reported yesterday that Xu Wenbo, director of the Virus Institute of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters that the center has begun the development of a new coronavirus vaccine. Upon 24 hours of receiving samples of the virus, they were able to successfully isolate it and obtain a full-length genome sequence. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is now conducting drug screening. The China News weekly reported yesterday that US vaccine giant Novavax is also in development of a vaccine; as is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who is collaborating with biotech company Moderna; and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, USA, which is working with the University of Texas, the New York Blood Center and Shanghai Fudan University.  Vaccines are expected to be clinically tested within three months. Although this may seem like a long way away, it's much shorter than the 20 months it took for the first round of human trials of the SARS vaccine in 2003.

Sources: 

 

Shenzhen Metro Requires Mask Use to Enter Stations

Those taking the metro lately may have noticed that staff there have already started implementing a variety of control measures to help fight against the spread of the virus. Face masks are now required by all passengers and staff are taking temperature readings of those entering and exiting metro stations. In addition, stations, train cars, elevator rooms, bathrooms, as well as air-conditioning ducts, escalators, cooling towers and other equipment and facilities are being disinfected, and the air ventilation systems are being improved.

Source: 深圳地铁致乘客朋友的公开信

 

CLICK HERE FOR GUIDELINES ON THE PROPER USE OF MASKS

 

Guangdong Issues Strict Notice: Those Who Don't Wear Masks in Public Will be Punished

The Southern Metropolis Daily announced yesterday that effective immediately, operators and managers of public places, such as those listed below, shall require those who enter their places to wear masks before entering:

  • Hotels, inns, guest houses, restaurants, cafes, bars, tea houses;

  • Public baths, barber shops, and beauty shops;

  • Theaters, karaoke halls, video hall (room), amusement halls (room), dance halls, concert halls;

  • Stadiums (halls), swimming pools (halls), parks, scenic spots, religious sites, commercial streets, pedestrian streets;

  • Shopping malls (shops) and bookstores;

  • Waiting rooms, highway service areas, public transportation (including online ride-hailing services, taxis);

  • Exhibition halls, museums, art galleries, and libraries;

  • Public places where other crowds gather.

No timeframe has been given for how long this requirement will last.

Source: 周知!广东发布严格防疫通告:公共场所不戴口罩将被处罚!

 

Businesses Busted for Price Gouging Masks

Many cases of price gouging are being published and officials are taking steps to penalize those caught. The government has also asked the public remain vigile of this and report any occurences to them at 12315. For example, the Chongqing Banan District Market Supervision Bureau found in the inspection that Chongqing Wanjiayan Pharmacy Chain Co., Ltd. that its subsidiary Yudong store in Banan District raised the price of masks from 16.8 yuan / bag (ten packs) to 27 yuan / bag and the price of masks from 18.8 yuan / bag (ten packs). To 30 yuan / bag. Chongqing Banan District Market Supervision Bureau has opened a case for investigation and will make an administrative penalty decision in the near future.

Source: 疫情当前,竟有人哄抬口罩价格?曝光!处罚!

 

Guangdong Announces Job Protection Requirements for Affected Employees

On January 25th, the Guangdong Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security issued an official notice stipulating that enterprises shall not terminate labor contracts with patients suffering from the virus, suspected patients, and others who are unable to provide normal labor due to quarantine treatment or medical observation, as well as government implementation of quarantine measures or other emergency measures. Employers should try to accommodate by using annual leave time, adjusting the salary, rotating shifts, shortening working hours, waiting for work, etc. in consultation with employees.  Eligible enterprises can enjoy job stabilization subsidies according to regulations in order to maintain normal production and operation. In terms of guaranteeing benefits to employees during work stoppages, the Notice states that if an enterprise suspends work due to an epidemic situation and does not exceed one pay period (up to 30 days), it shall pay wages in accordance with normal working hours. If the wage payment period exceeds one period, the wages may be paid according to the newly agreed standards between the two parties based on the labor provided by the employees. If the enterprise does not arrange for the employees to work, the employees shall pay the living expenses according to 80% of the local minimum wage. The living expenses shall be paid to the enterprise. Resumption of work, resumption of production or termination of labor relations.

Source: 紧急通知!因疫情未及时复工,优先安排带薪年假!全国旅行社团队游全部暂停

 

Shenzhen Quarantines Cruise Ship Passengers

The cruiseship Gestia Venice, which departed from Shenzhen Shekou Cruise Home Port on January 21 to Vietnam for a six-day, five-night round trip, was quarantined when it returned to Shenzhen yesterday. In view of the large number of people on board and the confined space, the cruise passengers were not allowed to disembark upon arrive. At 7 a.m. on January 26th, Shenzhen CDC and customs inspection and quarantine personnel boarded the ship, measured the temperature of all passengers and crew one by one, and screened them for the virus. A total of 4 cases of fever were found. All are female, including 3 children. In addition, the cruise company previously reported that nine people had a fever on board. The boarding professionals measured their body temperature on the spot and found that the body temperature was normal. Professionals then took samples from both the 4 cases they found with fever and the 9 cases reported by the crew, and immediately sent 13 samples to the Shenzhen CDC and Nanshan CDC laboratories for testing. The results of 13 samples were negative, ruling out the new coronavirus. After investigation, among the 4973 tourists on board, there are 148 people with Wuhan tourism history, residence history and contact history. These 148 passengers will undergo centralized isolation and medical observation in accordance with regulations. On the evening of the 26th, the other passengers were allowed to disembark. The 5,155 people who originally planned to board the ship today for another cruise had to cancel their journey and their tickets were refunded.

Source:  载多名湖北游客邮轮抵深圳,13人有发热史,已排除新冠肺炎可能

 

Shenzhen Suspends Some Railway Service

The Shenzhen News Network reported on January 25th that the Shenzhen North Railway Station, has suspended the following lines:

January 25, 2020 to February 23, 2020

  • Shenzhen North-Luohe West G554

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G1014

  • Shenzhen North-Yichang East G1032

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G1022 

  • Shenzhen North-Yichang East G1028 

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G1020 

  • Shenzhen North-Yichang East G1036 

January 25, 2020 to February 24, 2020

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G1010 

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G1002 

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G1004 

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G1006 

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G1008 

January 27, 2020 to February 25, 2020

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G78 

  • Shenzhen North-Wuhan G1012

For specific information, visit their official website at www.12306.cn/index  or their Weibo or WeChat accounts. Customers who have purchased tickets for discontinued trains can receive a refund by taking the ticket to the station window for refund no later than 30 days from the ticket date. Passengers who have purchased tickets on the 12306 website, and have not yet exchanged for paper tickets, can apply for a refund directly on the website at no charge.

Source: 紧急通知!因疫情未及时复工,优先安排带薪年假!全国旅行社团队游全部暂停

 

All Dapeng Scenic Spots Closed

The Dapeng New District Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports Bureau announced that in order to reduce the gathering of people and ensure public safety, all scenic spots within the jurisdiction of Dapeng New District will be temporarily closed to tourists from January 26. Re-opening time will be announced at a later date.

Source: 紧急通知!因疫情未及时复工,优先安排带薪年假!全国旅行社团队游全部暂停

 

Message for US citizens seeking departure from Wuhan

AmCham Shanghai published yesterday that U.S citizens interested in a U.S. government assisted departure from Wuhan, should contact BeijingACS@state.gov via email. The email must include biographical information as noted below. As part of the consular section’s American Citizen Services (ACS), U.S. Embassy Beijing is working on options to assist any American citizen who wants to leave Wuhan and will contact U.S. Citizens with specific details when they have more information.

  • To: BeijingACS@state.gov

  • Subject: AmCham Name ACS Support

  • Body:

  • {Please list each American Citizen requesting U.S. Government Assistance}

  • Full name:

  • U.S. passport number:

  • DOB:

  • Gender:

  • Email Address:

  • Phone Number:

Source: Messaging for US citizens seeking departure from Wuhan

 

High Level Meeting Re-enforces China's Committment to Take Virus

According to a decision released at a high-level meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday, China will adopt a host of measures including extending the Spring Festival holiday and supporting work online to curb the spread of the virus. To reduce population flows, the meeting decided on measures such as extending the Spring Festival holiday, which is scheduled between Jan 24 and 30, and delaying the start of the spring semester at colleges and schools. The meeting underscored the need for greater effort to bolster epidemic prevention and control in Hubei province and Wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak. The supply of necessities for residents in the area must be ensured with unimpeded passage to be offered for resources distributed to the region, it added. 

Source: 中央应对疫情工作领导小组:适当延长春节假期丨Meeting announces measures to fight virus

 

Shenzhen Denies Rumors of City Lockdown

The Shenzhen Special Zone News reported yesterday that they received confirmation from the Shenzhen Municipal Office of the group in charge of Pneumonia Prevention and Control of New Coronavirus Infection that the information about Shenzhen's "closing the city" is a rumor. The office hopes that people will resist rumors, not believe rumors, not spread rumors, and work together to maintain good social order and win the tough battle of epidemic prevention and control.

Source: 深圳要“封城”?回应来了!

 

WeChat Announces Actions to Crack Down on Misinformation

We'll end today's update with a timely reminder regarding the penalties for spreading false information. CCTV reported yesterday on WeChat's "Announcement on the Special Control of Rumors Related to New Coronavirus Pneumonia" which specifically calls out rumors and misinformation that is instilling panic in the public. They point out that the "Criminal Law Amendment (9)" clearly stipulates: "Those who seriously disrupt the social order through the fabrication of false dangers, epidemics, disasters, and police information, or by spreading knowingly false information online or in other media, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment, detention or control of less than 3 years. If they cause serious consequences, they shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of 3 to 7 years. WeChat has vowed to crack down on rumor-like information and has hired third-party rumor removal agencies on the platform to manage content removal and step up punishment of violating accounts according to the degree of violation: including, but not limited to, limiting or permanently blocking accounts or account functions.

Source: 封号!对散布疫情谣言的账号进行限期或永久封禁处理

 

How to Help

Various charity organizations are working hard to help those in need in Wuhan. If you'd like to help, here's a list of places you can contact. 

 

Shenzhen Caring Action Charity Foundation

Account Name: Shenzhen Caring Action Public Welfare Foundation

户名:深圳市关爱行动公益基金会

Bank: China Minsheng Bank Shenzhen Futian Branch

银行:中国民生银行深圳福田支行

Account number: 1806 0142 1000 2610

Please note for donations: fight against the epidemic (抗击疫情)

Contact for material donation:

Chen Mei: 18676745367

Yang Navy: 15338800619

Wu Bing: 13723477428

 

Wuhan Charity Federation 

Accepting donations and general supplies. The telephone numbers are: 027-85729696, 027-85751277, 027-85678311, 027-85798437. Contact: Wang Liang 13627104336

Accepted account name: Wuhan Charity Federation

接受捐赠户名:武汉市慈善总会

Account number: 421860158018170139664;

Bank: Bank of Communications Hubei Branch Sales Department (860158);

开户行:交通银行湖北省分行营业部(860158);

No. of Bank of China: 301521000021

 

Wuhan Red Cross Society 

Receiving special supplies such as medical consumables and protective supplies. Contact number: 027-82788599, 027-82210181, 027-82812604, 027-82858499, 027-82856122. Contact: Luo Gangqiang 13297963117.

Source: 封号!对散布疫情谣言的账号进行限期或永久封禁处理

 

RECOMMENDED READING

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Events Calendar