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February 10, 2020

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Flexible shifts encouraged as city businesses get ready to reopen

SHANGHAI authorities are encouraging flexible working hours to avoid any possible infections of the novel coronavirus, as businesses resume operations today.

Enterprises should create ways to allow staff to have flexible shifts, according to a notice issued by the Shanghai headquarters against the novel coronavirus pneumonia. Arrangements should be considered to reduce or delay working hours, and firms should consider creating conditions for employees to work at home.

The notice also urged increasing public transportation in peak hours to improve efficiency. It said disinfection should be increased in public vehicles such as subway trains, buses and taxis. Ventilation should be enhanced, too, the notice said.

All enterprises should have temperature measurement points and temporary isolation rooms; epidemic prevention and control teams equipped with protective masks, disinfectants, infrared thermometers; and other epidemic prevention and control supplies.

About 75,000 people arrived in Shanghai through Pudong and Hongqiao airports yesterday during the peak period for people returning after the extended Spring Festival holiday.

The Shanghai Airport Authority introduced a more intensive hygiene regime yesterday.

The airports have received 155,000 passengers from Thursday to Saturday. Yesterday, Pudong received 48,000 and Hongqiao 27,000.

Temperature check, health registration and frequent disinfection measures are being conducted. Forty-six checkpoints, featuring infrared and portable thermal detectors, have been set up for departing travelers, and 18 for arrivals.

All passengers on domestic flights must register through a mobile phone app with the information shared with the city's health authority and airlines.

For international flights, travelers must fill in a health declaration, have their temperatures checked and undergo various other inspections.

Disinfection is being carried out at terminal buildings, transport hubs, shuttle buses and garages. All the toilets, nursing rooms, elevators, escalators and areas with large numbers of people are disinfected every hour.

The check-in counters, information desks and seats in the terminal buildings are being sterilized three times a day, rising to every two hours on peak days.

The terminal buildings, satellite terminals and two transport centers at the two airports undergo a thorough disinfection at the end of each day.

A total of 142 medical workers and 275 volunteers are working round clock at the airports.

There was a hike in passengers arriving by trains as well.

Shanghai’s railway stations saw an estimated 19,000 passengers depart yesterday, and 120,000 arrive, according to rail authorities.

The arrival figure was 103,000 on Saturday, 102,000 on Friday, and 89,000 on Thursday.

Infrared temperature checks are conducted on every passenger, and arriving passengers are required to register. They must wear masks.

Disinfection in trains and at stations has been enhanced.

Dr Wu Liming, of the Shanghai Municipal Center for Health Promotion, said that people should take care when going to and from work, as well as while in the office.

People should keep warm, be aware of coughing and sneezing, wear mask while taking lifts, keep a safe distance from others, ventilate their working places properly, wash their hands regularly, take care to clean cell phones and mouses, take off their coats when they arrive home and go to hospital if they develop symptoms.

“Public transportation and working venues are high-risk places. Good ventilation is very important,” Wu said. “People should avoid gathering in canteens and take their meals at their desk instead of eating together.”

He said people should be careful how they dispose of their masks and wash their hands as soon as they return home.

“Cooperating with temperature checks and going to the doctor if you develop any symptoms are very important.”


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