Since the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus, China, the epicentre of the virus has recorded over 20,000 infections with at least 500 deaths. The virus which has a very high transmissible rate has put the entire country of China on lockdown; daily activities have come to a standstill with fewer business operations. Countries have issued a travel warning to China, and over 21 countries have banned flights from the embattled country.
While foreigners in China look out for every possible means to leave the country, Chinese are left with no option than to take the highest precautions against the virus. Several countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have evacuated their nationals from the country. Ghanaian students in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus are crying for help to be evacuated.
But how is it like to be in China now?
The situation in China now differs from city to city, but one thing that cuts across all is the frequent checking of temperatures of people. Temperatures are checked once you leave your apartment and checked again when you return. Quzhou, a city in China’s western Zhejiang province, do not allow vehicles to enter the city except the ones that live in the city. The city has suspended public transportation while hotels and restaurants are closed.
In Haining, only public markets and a few mini groceries are opened until lunchtime with a restriction on the number of shoppers. The situation in Hubei Province, where the virus originated, is quite worst, according to students who shared their situation on Facebook. Oviprayy Mohin shared on HiChina Travel Facebook page that “situation at the Hubei province is very bad. No food, No water. Locked Dormitory since February 1”. Mohin added that shops are closed, and life is like “living in hell”.
In Ningbo, only one person from a household is allowed to go out for supplies once every two days. Beijing’s atmosphere is filled with fears as people hardly go out of their homes; the streets are quiet, and no leisure activities as the city is known for. Temperature checks are ongoing everywhere, and one is expected to be checked many times once out of the house.
The situation is somehow different in Shanghai. Though many people are not seen outside, markets are opened, and people are seen at parks. In Nanjing, supermarkets and restaurants are operating as usual.
University students are locked down in their dormitories while the schools supply food and water.
If you find yourself in China now, expect to have your temperatures checked when leaving your apartment, when returning, entering shops and malls, and almost everywhere. Parcel deliveries are not allowed beyond the gate.
Due to restrictions on how many people enter a shop and how long a shop opens, there has been panic shopping in some areas, and even in Hong Kong, supermarkets have run out of toilet rolls. Nothing tourism is happening in China now, and Chinese Missions abroad have suspended the issuance of visas. China is confident that the coronavirus outbreak will be temporary and will not change the long-term improvement of the country’s economy, but data analysis firm IHS Markit predicts the new coronavirus outbreak will be worse for the global economy than the 2003 SARS outbreak was.
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