Coronavirus: And then there was one

Guangdong reported a solitary new case of COVID-19 yesterday, in Dongguan, while Hong Kong had three. No new death was reported anywhere in the GBA, while discharge numbers continued to climb.

Guangdong has managed to keep its new infection figure at single digits this week, with only nine reported in total since Sunday, according to the Guangdong Health Commission. It has also kept a steady rate of discharges, with 48 leaving hospital on Wednesday. 

The total number of infections recorded in the province since the outbreak began is 1,332, of which 619 have been discharged. In Hong Kong, five patients out of the 65 confirmed cases have been discharged, adding a new recovery on Wednesday.

The provincial infection number has been dropping steadily over the past two weeks, from 127 at the beginning of Feb, as various containment measures have been enforced by city governments, including entry restrictions to the province and lockdown in local communities.

For the nine GBA cities in Guangdong, as of 9 am today, Shenzhen has 416, Guangzhou 339, Zhuhai 98, Dongguan 92, Foshan 84, Zhongshan 66, Huizhou 62, Jiangmen 23 and Zhaoqing 18.

Macau has had no new confirmed cases for more than two weeks, which is why its casinos reopened last night.

Related news:

  1. Hubei, epicentre of the outbreak, finally saw a sharp decrease in its new infections. It reported 394 new cases today, around one-fifth of the previous day’s 1,693, bringing the total to 62,031. The death toll rose to 2,029, with 108 new deaths added, down 24 from the previously reported 132 daily increase, according to Hubei Health Commission. The nationwide number of new infections outside Hubei has seen a steady decrease for 16 straight days, at 45.
  2. Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Science, says the world should be prepared for the possibility that COVID-19 is here to stay, as the virus appears to be more like flu than Sars. SCMP.
  3. China has sufficient financial tools to weather the economic storm caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Finance Ministry says, announcing that social-security contributions will be waived or reduced for the next five months. SCMP.
  4. Many companies that have been granted permission to resume operations face critical shortages of staff and raw materials, while logistics jams are common. SCMP.
  5. The country’s banks are lowering benchmark borrowing costs for new corporate and household loans after the PBOC slashed a range of policy rates this month. Bloomberg.
  6. Provincial governments in the Yangtze River Delta region around Shanghai have begun arranging buses, trains and flights to bring migrant workers back to factories as the country urgently tries to restart production. SCMP.
  7. Ditto in Guangdong. The provincial human resource department has been working with Guangxi and Yunnan provinces to arrange special (free) trains for workers who returned from their hometowns in those provinces for Chinese New Year. Nanfang Daily.
  8. As millions of migrant workers return to Guangdong, anxieties are rising among employers about how many will actually come back. Online job fairs are seeing rising numbers of posts: so far, data shows more than 756,500 job vacancies from over 20,000 companies. Nanfang Daily.
  9. The outbreak has brought a surge in online shopping in Guangdong, as the province saw 63,000 online stores opened after Chinese New Year, topping the country. Nanfang Daily.
  10. While leveraging its widespread surveillance network to collect the information of patients or those with close contacts with them, Shenzhen authorities said they are also making efforts to protect their privacy from being breached, by preventing personal information including names and addresses from going public.
  11. Shenzhen saw a 51% decline in the number of arrivals during this year’s 40-day Chinese New Year period, to 7.53 million, according to the city’s transport bureau. The number of departures dropped 41% year-on-year. Southern Metropolis Daily.
  12. The Hong Kong government will dish out a bigger-than-expected HK$30 billion relief package in an urgent attempt to bail out virtually all industries across the board. SCMP.

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