China Fine-Tunes Visa Policies to Aid Epidemic Control!

Source: HangzhouTube, China Daily, Xinhua news

Good morning

China announced on Feb 27 measures to make it easier for people to enter and leave the country to support epidemic control work and the resumption of work and production.

Foreigners in China for innovation, entrepreneurship and scientific research during the epidemic will have their visa and residence permits automatically extended for two months if their certificates expire during the period. No extension procedure is required, and they can legally stay in China or leave the country during the extended period, according to the National Immigration Administration.

Foreigners who need to come to China for urgent reasons such as investment, a business start-up or trade can apply at their port of entry for a visa or temporary entry permit with invitation letters.

For people involved in medical aid, drug research and development, academic exchanges or other anti-epidemic work, 24-hour, urgent certification service will be provided, according to the administration.

The duration of foreign anti-epidemic workers' residence permits will depend on their work. Applications for Chinese permanent residence will be prioritized for those who have made important contributions to anti-epidemic work.

Full-time exit and entry services have been provided to speed movement of anti-epidemic materials, international import and export commodities and fresh agricultural products, the administration said. 

The administration said these measures are to support the resumption of work and production and promote the employment, foreign investment and trade. Differentiated services will be offered according to the local epidemic situation. Immigration authorities will immediately resume counter service in low-risk areas, gradually resume counter service in mediumrisk areas and offer emergency reservation services to accept and approve applications for urgent cases in highrisk areas. 

Both Chinese and foreigners can access online applications. Mainland residents can submit applications for entry and exit documents online, while foreigners can submit applications for visas, residence certificates or permanent residence. Those who need online services should consult with local immigration authorities.

Over 50% Coronavirus Patients didn't Have Fever, Paper Says

More than half of coronavirus patients admitted into hospitals did not have fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings, a new research has found.


The paper, published on February on the website of the New England Journal of Medicine, said only 43.8 percent of patients had fever on admission, and the ratio grew to 88.7 percent during hospitalization.

Coughs were detected in 67.8 percent of the patients, making it the most common symptoms alongside fever, and diarrhea was uncommon (3.8 percent), according to the research led by Zhong Nanshan, a prominent scientist who heads a government-appointed panel of experts to help control the coronavirus outbreak.

Lymphocytopenia was detected in 83.2 percent of the patients on admission and no radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9 percent) with mild symptoms and in five of 173 patients (2.9 percent) with severe disease, the research has found.

The findings were based on 1,099 novel coronavirus patients scattered across 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities.

The data were collected starting Jan 29, 2020, the paper said, adding that the median age of the patients was 47 years, and 41.9 percent of the patients were female.

The research found that the median incubation period was four days, though the virus was found to have incubated for 24 days in one case.

The mortality rate was 1.4 percent, and only 1.9 percent of the patients reported direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3 percent had contact with Wuhan people, including 31.3 percent who had visited the city, the study has found.

Are Protective Measures not Necessary in Low Epidemic Risk Regions?


Some people think living in a low epidemic risk region means protective measures such as wearing a mask and frequently washing hands are no longer necessary.

Low-risk regions are not risk-free, said He Qinghua, an official with the National Health Commission's disease prevention and control bureau. Taking personal protective measures is still necessary for people living in low-risk regions, especially those just downgraded from high- and medium-risk regions.

People should avoid crowds, but if they have to go to a crowded place masks are strongly encouraged. Those working in an enclosed environment should wear a mask correctly, try to reduce working hours and self-monitor their health condition, He said.

Ministry: China's Schools will Remain Closed until Epidemic Basically Under Control

According to Xinhua on Feb. 29, primary and middle schools in different regions shall not reopen until the epidemic is basically under control, according to China's Ministry of Education.

It also made clear two other conditions for such schools in starting the new semester: when schools have the capability in essential prevention and control, and the safety of teachers and students and the public health security in schools is effectively guaranteed.


For the period before the new semester, local education authorities and schools were asked to design reasonable schedules for pupils and middle school students and strengthen the guidance for their study at home, said a circular from the ministry released on Feb 28.


It also urged colleges and universities to evaluate the effect of their online teaching projects and make timely adjustments.

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