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March 27, 2020

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Home isolation proves effective

As it welcomes a myriad of passengers from overseas every day, Shanghai has boosted its service and monitoring of those qualified for a fortnight’s quarantine at home in isolation.

International arrivals duly placed under home quarantine, foreign or Chinese, are subject to the same strict standard for 14 days. To ensure everyone thus quarantined stay at home to contain any possible spread of the coronavirus, local police have now joined community workers in creating a safety net that combines the spirit of law and community.

Shanghai Observer, a leading local news outlet, reported on Wednesday that Shanghai police had of late created a special work mechanism to equip each household unit under isolated quarantine with a responsible police officer.

In addition to making sure that people abide by the rules, the police also lend their support to urban and rural communities in verifying information related to the home quarantine of those who have returned from overseas.

As China’s largest port of entry, Shanghai now sees more than 10,000 passengers entering its turf every day, even as it has tried its best to adjust its international flight frequency in the ongoing global fight of the coronavirus pandemic, said the People’s Daily yesterday.

Faced with mounting pressures of quarantine at the border, Shanghai has chosen to keep its door open for inbound passengers and double its effort to make as many feel at home as possible in this special time of ours when the world stands as one to fight the common threat.

It would be somewhat easier for a city to close its border, but Shanghai hasn’t done so. It keeps its arm open, because it’s an open city for you and me.

“To think vicariously, if you have family members who live overseas, would you also worry about them and hope they could return home?” People’s Daily asked. “How disappointed would you be if the city closed the door?”

An open city

As someone who has worked and lived in Shanghai for 16 years, I have come to love the city for its open spirit, especially its readiness to share its resources with others in need.

Now that the pandemic is getting severe abroad while things have gradually been stabilized in China, we are ready to cooperate with the international community and do our best to ensure that all are as safe as possible — the individuals who have returned from overseas, the community and the city. Ultimately, it’s for the safety of the global village.

Now all inbound passengers from overseas to Shanghai are subject to a nucleic test. Those with symptoms like fever or cough are transferred to a designated medical institution. Passengers who tested negative and meet the requirements for quarantine at home in isolation are “escorted” home all the way in what’s called a “closed loop” from the port of entry to where they live.

One story would illustrate how meticulous Shanghai is in minimizing any possibility of someone “sliding” away from isolated home quarantine.

The Xinmin Evening News reported on Wednesday that a certain Zhang, who returned from Japan on March 13, told airport workers that he had a long-term contract with a so-and-so hotel, meaning he would be qualified for home quarantine — one man one household, or one family one household.

The airport workers immediately passed the message to someone in Changning District, who then double-checked Zhang’s claim with the said hotel and found that Zhang’s statement was false. In the end, Zhang was arranged for quarantine at a centralized venue.

As for those legitimately quarantined at home, community workers take care of their daily lives — from delivering food to collecting garbage — while making sure they do stay at home during the required 14 days.

It’s this spirit of communal care and a sense of legal responsibility that make quarantine at home in isolation a viable choice for a metropolitan city like Shanghai that needs all hands to the pump in building up trust and harmony.


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