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China: stopover in hotel quarantine

April 21, 2020 8:24 AM, Der AUDITOR
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PEKING. After weeks of imposed quarantine, restrictions are gradually being eased in cities in China. Few people, however, want to go further than their own front door or garden. Mundus Agri has talked to trading partners about everyday life.

China is only recording a few new Covid-19 infections every day. These cases are mainly attributed to returning Chinese citizens, whereby Heilongjiang, a northeastern province that borders Russia, is particularly hard hit. Travellers arriving from overseas still have to remain in quaratine for 14 days on returning to China. Unlike in other countries, these travellers are, however, not permitted to self-isolate at home, but are placed in hotel quarantine at their own expense. While hotel staff provide the visitors with food, guests have to clean their rooms themselves. Although travel within China is possible, quarantines apply on trips accross the provinces.

The wearing of face masks that cover the mouth and nose are mandatory in public. Venues and institutions such as cinemas and schools remain closed, although schools may open again in May. Temperatures are taken on entering shops or shopping malls, subways stations and stations etc. Reports state that measures have been taken a step further in Wuhan as people entering public buildings have to be registered on a tracking app and are either permitted or refused entry. Although restaurants are open, only one person is allowed to sit at a table a time. This also applies if couples intend to eat together. Many, however, prefer to stay at home, order food or at the very most visit supermarkets to avoid infection. China's hard-hit industry has responded to the current situation as many companies have switched to producing disposable face masks.

Food exporters frequently do not provide any offers, as is for instance the case in the pumpkin kernel market. Others only produce food products on advance payment as there are concerns that restrictions may render purchases impossible. In addition, it is rather difficult to obtain raw materials, as is for instance the case with pine nuts in Russia.

As Yu Kangzhen, deputy minister at China's Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, has recently stated in a video conference, "the impact on international food trade and international food production may become worse and new food crises may be generated if the epidemic continues to spread and escalates. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Han Changfu, has simultaneously ruled out the possibility of a food shortage in China as the country can secure the provision of cereals and other important agrifood.

 

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