Longer holiday for residents in Hubei province, China

Further to the additional 3 days of national holiday announced by the central government in China, the provincial government of Hubei has technically extended the duration of the national Chinese New Year (CNY) public holiday by an additional 11 days, to 13th February.

China before the Coronavirus outbreak already has one of the longest national CNY holiday in the world of 7 days, but the central government on 27th January decided to extend it by 3 days to better control the spread of the Coronavirus, which has infected thousands.

With the first extension, the “golden week” CNY holiday would have ended on Sunday (2 Feb) instead of  Thursday (30 Jan).

While it is not an extension of the CNY national public holiday per se, the provincial government of Hubei has decided to continue with the forced closure of all non-essential businesses (some government agencies excepted) throughout the province for another 11 days. As such, it is still technically a holiday for those who are employed in the private sectors as they need not go to work, even if they wanted to.

Remaining status quo, all educational institutions and tourist attractions are still closed till further notice.

The extended forced closure, according to the provincial government, is to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus, which Chinese experts have predicted will ‘explode/peak’ (爆发) in the coming week since most infected residents would already have settled down and the dormant period of the Coronavirus would have been reached for most carriers.

There may be further extensions, opined experts elsewhere, who predicted that the outbreak would not peak so soon.

A study by the University of Hong Kong suggested that the outbreak would not peak until April and that the real number of cases could have already passed 40,000 because many may not have been officially recorded.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said it was difficult to predict the peak, but he expected the epidemic would be worse than Sars.

I think this is going to be a much larger outbreak than Sars … I would urge caution in the case numbers. The case numbers are tied totally to the availability of testing. There’s likely many, many cases in China that are not being called cases because they weren’t tested in time to be positive.

Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security, agreed.

It appears that the novel coronavirus is better at spreading between humans than the Sars virus and the outbreak has the potential to be bigger in terms of case counts… What remains to be seen is the severity level of the outbreak, what is the ratio of mild to severe cases?

Osterholm was also alarmed by the speed at which the virus is spreading overseas.

If you look at the number of countries that cases have showed up in, this is very similar to the 2009 H1N1 [swine flu outbreak], which first appeared in Mexico. Within a month of it first being recognised in Mexico, it turned up in 42 different countries around the world.

I think that probably if you add two more weeks to the dynamic transmission of this outbreak, it could very likely be in as many countries.

The Coronovirus has been spreading rapidly throughout China with hundreds of new confirmed infections everyday. To date, it has killed 133 and infected more than 6100 residents.

 

 

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2 Responses to “Longer holiday for residents in Hubei province, China”

  • Wabianz

    21 days of national holiday. Sinkaporeans can only dream. lol

    .

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  • Sojoürner of Truth:

    This, I believe, is evolving into a global catastrophic event. We can safely assume that the number of confirmed cases in China significantly underestimates the true population burden. Combine that with a shortage of test kits, over-burdened Chinese medical facilities, pathological under-reporting of negative news by the CPC and many who would rather stay home than sit stewing in the Petri dish of a hospital waiting room.

    The confirmed cases will exploded in the coming days as more testing kits will be at best adequately available in China due to manufacturing limited capacity.

    The race now is to contain the spread long enough for a vaccine to become available for healthcare workers as the risk is that overburdened hospital workers walk off the job as they and their coworkers and families are put at risk. That would cause chaos and open the lid of Pandora’s box further – a commercially available vaccine is months if not over a year or more from availability.

    I think we can assert that this ‘rat’ has exited the bag.

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