Coronavirus: Latest Emergency Measures Announced by the PRC Government

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(For anymore new updates as they come in, please see our article, Managing Your China Business during the Coronavirus Outbreak: Ongoing Updates and Advisory, here.)

This article is a brief summary of the immediate emergency measures implemented by China’s government in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

China’s central government has made an announcement concerning measures designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which has already been identified across many Chinese cities. The key points are as follows:

  • The Chinese New Year holiday period will be extended “as appropriate”. As of early Monday, January 27, the nationwide holiday had been extended to February 2; previously it was set to end January 30.
  • The start of the upcoming semester at schools and colleges around the country will also be delayed.
  • Local governments are, however, extending the delay to contain the spread of the virus. This is to reduce the motivation for people to travel back from their home towns to where they work during this critical period.
    Shanghai announced Monday evening that commercial establishments, government bureaus, and offices would remain closed till February 9. Zhejiang province announced late Monday evening that it will delay resumption of work and school to February 9. Guangdong Province announced Tuesday evening that it will delay resumption of work and school to after February 9 and February 17-24, respectively. Chongqing announced Tuesday night that non-essential enterprises in the administrative area will remain closed till February 9. On January 29 morning, Jiangsu announced that non-essential enterprises must delay work to February 9 followed later by Yunnan.
  • On January 29, Hubei Province announced that enterprises in the province will be closed till February 13.
  • Clearance for imported medicines, disinfectant and hygiene products, and protective medical equipment and related gear has been accelerated.

Detailed implementation rules will be announced by governments on a city-by-city basis in response to the particular set of circumstances they are facing.

The first formal announcement came from the Suzhou government, Jiangxi Province (see official link here). The Suzhou announcement is summarized below as an example of the degree of seriousness with which local governments are treating the current situation:

  1. Suzhou residents currently outside of the city – are not to return to Suzhou. Those residents currently in Suzhou shall only move around when required. For companies and factories operating within the administrative district, staff may not come back to work before February 8. Schools may not re-open before February 17. Exceptions exist for organizations involved in providing basic services for residents (provision of water, gas, electricity etc.) and those involved in combating the spread of the virus.
  2. For any Suzhou residents in transit (returning to Suzhou), inspections shall be carried out on every individual at stations, ports, roads, and highway exits. All such persons shall be restricted to their homes or sent to specialist facilities for a minimum period of 14 days after their return.
  3. Any resident who has traveled to Hubei in the past two weeks, or those who have had physical contact with people from Hubei, or those who have had physical contact with anyone already infected with the coronavirus – are required to report to a medical center to report their health condition and have their temperature taken. They should then be restricted to their homes or go to specialist facilities for observation. If such people start displaying symptoms, such as a high temperature, they must wear a face-mask and go straight to the medical center.
  4. Local administrative bodies should organize task forces to make house visits to propagate the measures put in place by the State Sanitation and Health Committee.
  5. All meetings and gatherings are to be cancelled. Group social meals of all types, whether organized by companies or individuals, are prohibited. Any pre-planned events must be cancelled or delayed. All cinemas, leisure facilities, internet cafes, saunas, etc. are to be closed. Retirement homes and rehabilitation facilities are to be locked-down.
  6. Some roads shall be closed. Road checks will be put in place on the roads that remain open. Light railway and bus routes will run on a reduced schedule.
  7. Administration officials and companies shall put in place measures to monitor the situation within their organizations. If any risk is discovered, they must take immediate action.

(This article was originally published on January 27, 2020 and was last updated on January 30, 2020.)

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