Updates on Novel Coronavirus Outbreak - 10 February

Published on 2020-02-10

In this message we collected some of the most up-to-date information in regards to novel coronavirus cases in Shanghai, advice for the public and businesses.

[Highlights]

British Business in China: The Impact of The Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia

From 5 to 7 February, British chambers of commerce in China conducted a survey of our members on the impact of the novel coronavirus pneumonia on their operations in China. The survey received responses from 126 British companies. 

Responses reflect the full range of British businesses of all sizes operating across a broad range of sectors. Gathering responses from businesses operating in cities all over China, the survey is national in its spread.

The survey finds that:

1. The coronavirus outbreak has caused severe disruptions to the operations of British business in China. 97% of respondents report a negative impact on their operation from the virus, with the majority (54%) experiencing a significant negative impact.

2. These issues are being widely felt by companies in both goods and services industries and among businesses across the country. Companies are also experiencing general financial challenges (36%), costs from HR compliance (29%) and a shortage of necessary medical supplies (28%). 

3. Most companies expect business to return to normal by either the end of February (23%) or by the end of March (31%). Despite this, there is a considerable amount of uncertainty (27% report don’t know) and a large proportion of companies (37%) nonetheless expect to reopen their offices on 10 February.

4. Almost all businesses are implementing working from home and 37% are allowing for flexible working hours. A further 22% are postponing investment decisions and another 17% are temporarily suspending operations in China altogether. Of the companies that employ British nationals, relatively few are actively relocating them back to the UK (9%), but most are supporting the voluntary decisions of employees to work remotely out of the country.

5. Two in five British businesses have already provided support to the government’s efforts to contain the virus in Wuhan and Hubei. This has been in the form of medical equipment (13%), financial donations (12%) and business advice (8%).

Click here to download the full results (981k)

ICU Equipment On Demand

Please find below list from the NDRC of equipment China needs. NDRC will post details of companies that donate on their official website. If you would like more details or to express an interest to donate, please contact cdunn@ukgovinchina.com

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[UK]

New UK aid to help stop the spread of coronavirus around the world

  • UK aid to the World Health Organisation (WHO) will help prevent the spread of the virus in developing countries, by supporting them to rapidly identify and care for patients with symptoms.
  • Additional experts funded by UK aid will be deployed to the WHO to help coordinate the international response.
  • The new support announced on 8 February demonstrates how UK aid is making the world a safer place, tackling disease outbreaks that do not respect borders.

£5 million of UK aid will support the WHO’s Flash Appeal to stop the spread of the disease by supporting the developing countries most at risk of coronavirus to quickly identify cases and care for patients.

The UK is well prepared for these types of outbreaks and was one of the first countries in the world to develop a laboratory test for the new virus. 

On 8 February, new UK aid support announced follows £40 million invested into vaccine and virus research earlier this week by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). The new DHSC funding, some of which is also UK aid, will support work on developing new vaccines for epidemics, including three new programmes to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV. 

Click here to read the full article

A Message from British Ambassador to China - 9 February

On 9 February, Dame Barbara Woodward, British Ambassador to China shared some new updates on the situation in China:  

"I am pleased to share the news that a civilian aircraft carrying over 200 passengers left Wuhan for the UK at 3.20AM local time. The flight landed at RAF Brize Norton on Sunday morning (UK time). The evacuees will go in to supported quarantine for two weeks.  

Our travel advice remains that if you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be at heightened risk. 

Our Embassy in Beijing, and British Consulates-General in Shanghai and Guangzhou will continue to provide essential travel documentary services to British nationals wishing to leave China.

British nationals in China who need consular support should get in touch with us through our 24/7 hotline +86 (0) 10 8529 6600 or (+44) (0)207 008 1500."

Click here to watch:

1) the ambassador's full video announcement

2) a video that the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance explains what we know about the Coronavirus, and offers advice on the best ways of protecting yourself against it. 

Click here to view the updated Coronavirus Q&A for British Nationals in China (8 Feb version) 

[Source: UK Consular]

[SHANGHAI]

Shanghai Government issues 28 measures to support businesses through crisis

On 8 February, Shanghai government has introduced 28 measures to steady businesses during the novel coronavirus outbreak, with immediate effect.  

The government received the results of more than 4,000 online questionnaires on the main difficulties and expectations of enterprises and used the findings as the basis for the new policies.

The measures, which will help cut down the costs of affected enterprises by 30 billion yuan, lay emphasis on support for enterprises at the frontline of virus control, reducing the burden on companies of all kinds, increasing financial assistance, stabilsing employment and resuming work in an orderly manner.

For an English summary, please click here.

For the full 28 measures in Chinese, please click here


2019-nCoV Cases Updates

As of 12pm, 10 February, there are in total 299 cases in Shanghai. 230 patients were in stable condition, 10 were in critical condition and 10 were in severe condition, 48 were recovered and discharged, and 1 died. In addition, a total of 1,130 suspected cases have been ruled out, and 205 suspected cases are still being investigated. Please click here for more details about 2019-nCoV cases in China and around the world.   

[BRITISH CHAMBER]

Chamber Meetings and Events to be Postponed

Following the Shanghai government's guidance and in consideration of health and safety of our members, we have decided that Chamber events and meetings up until 29 February are to be postponed. We will keep under review the position regarding events after that date.

If you are currently registered for any of the events affected we will send you a separate email with further updates. Thank you for your understanding.

In the meantime, we are seeking digital solutions for events in the form of webinars to stay connected with our business community.

Chamber Office Hours during 10 - 14 February

To avoid the risk of cross-infection, the physical office will remain closed from 10 to 14 February and Chamber staff will work from home. Normal operating hours are 9am to 6pm.  If you would like to contact any of the Chamber staff, please find below the contact details. 

General Enquiries:
James.Dunn@britishchambershanghai.cn
Janet.Jiang@britishchambershanghai.cn

Membership:
Sharon.Zhang@britishchambershanghai.cn

Focus Groups:
Jun.Wang@britishchambershanghai.cn

MarComs:
Catherine.Zhang@britishchambershanghai.cn

Events:
Nathalie.Xu@britishchambershanghai.cn
Hilary.Wu@britishchambershanghai.cn

Finance:
Caroline.Wang@britishchambershanghai.cn

Please leave a message/comment to let us know what other information you would like to read more, or if any support you need. 

Related Chamber News:

We hope the above information is useful to help you make the best decision for you, your family and your business. British Chamber Shanghai continues to closely monitor the coronavirus and will keep members updated of important developments.