Live: Coronavirus official news and health updates for Yunnan and Kunming

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Updated: Thursday, February 13, 3:00PM local time.

This article was getting quite long, so we have split it into two: this one with official news and health updates, the other one with travel and business information. We hope this is helpful in finding the information you need

This article will be updated live — see date and time above — with verified news from trusted and official sources regarding the Coronavirus situation and how it impacts the lives of people living or travelling in Kunming and the rest of Yunnan. A lot of misinformation has been spread through WeChat groups and we hope that this article can provide a stable reference point.

We are working with a small team of news gatherers and verifiers, both foreign and Chinese. We are checking Chinese government information, national and international news sources, social media, academic resources and information from a couple of foreign embassies in China.

Below information is organized by topic which you can quickly access through the menu above. We will update the publishing date and time of this article as it is updated, so you will know how old the information in the article is.

If you have important news please email vera [at] gokunming [dot] com or contact us through the contact form. After verification it will be added to the article if relevant for Kunming and Yunnan residents.

Verified sources of information regarding the virus

Here is a link to hotline phone numbers that are open to foreigners in Kunming (in English).

An article with advice from the Yunnan government to foreigners can be found here.

This is a link to an official government source on the number of cases throughout China. Click on the link to see the latest numbers (in Chinese).

The World Health Organization issues regular updates.

Ask your own embassy or consulate for information, or check the US embassy travel advice for China.

Follow trustworthy (inter)national news channels for additional reporting. We find this video by the Guardian very helpful in explaning the situation in a calm and clear manner (proxy needed). Here you can find some international news sources that are reporting on the virus that can be accessed without a proxy.

You may receive notices from your community management about restriction to visitors, food delivery etc. Please follow their advice.

Official WeChat accounts

Here is a list of verified, official WeChat accounts you can follow for regularly updated info. Look for the WeChat ID:

Yunnan Province: yunnanfabu or 云南发布

Kunming Bus: kmbus_weixin

Kunming subway: gh_2b8d94a97c82

Kunming Airport: kunmingairport

Yunnan Health hotline: yn12320 or 云南卫生12320

Kunming City government: kmfabu

China Railway: chineserailways

Kunming Railway: kmtl2013


Symptoms and treatment

The WHO has declared the Novel Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

The Lancet has created an online resource for Corona research.

If you experience symptoms, it's best to stay at home and have your symptoms checked online by a team of respiratory and infection experts from The First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University (Yunda Hospital) and the First Provincial Hospital (Kunhua Hospital). It's best to stay at home and avoid hospitals where you might risk cross-contamination. If you have to go to the hospital, go to one that is on this list. Don't go to a neighborhood clinic.

Thursday February 13 update: These are the hospitals in Kunming that can test for the virus:

Official WeChat account of Yunnan Health hotline: yn12320

General hygiene precautions apply in order to prevent contagion:

Medical masks

Here is some information on how to check if you are buying a genuine medical mask, including a link where you can check the business that you are buying from (in Chinese).

Some general guidelines about which masks are useful and how to wear them

Unfortunately we can not include information on where masks are for sale, as this changes very often. Please be aware that online suppliers may focus on delivering to Hubei first, where they are most needed.

Quarantine updates

Thursday February 13 update: We are no longer updating the quarantined buildings

Thursday, January 30
A few 'columns' — entrances to the elevators of high-rise apartment blocks — have been quarantined after 5 new cases were diagnosed: Chunhui Yida Yuan Building 3, columns 2 and 3; Yaolong Kangcheng, building 8, column 3; and Xingti Huayuan (Beiqu) Northern district, building 13, column 1.

Names of the communities and buildings in Chinese:
- 春晖小区颐达园32单元、33单元
- 耀龙康城83单元
- 星体花园北区 131单元

Friday, January 31
One more column has been quarantined: Yunxi Huayuan, Phase 2, building 1, column 2. 云锡花园212单元

Here you find live official updates on the number of cases across China, Yunnan and Kunming.

Self care

Don't forget about your mental and emotional health either. Talk to a friend about your worries. Go for a walk. Take a deep breath. Here are some helpful tips on good self care, that can help in alleviating anxiety.

For free, confidential and anonymous support in English across China you can contact Life Line Shanghai or call them at 400-821-1215 (free) or +021 62798990, from 10:00am to 10:00pm.

A report of a hospital visit

Thurday February 13
Two days ago I fell ill with flu-like symptoms — extremely tired, feverish, a scratchy throat. Even if it is extremely unlikely to get the virus if you haven't been in close contact with anyone from Hubei, it's still wise to have it checked so everyone you have been in contact with can breathe a little bit easier.

So, today I went to the Kunming Medical University Second Affiliated Hospital. The hospital was quiet, and even if the temperature check at the entrance didn't register a fever, I explained my symptoms and was briskly escorted through the examinations. First, meet a doctor who checks your throat — aaaaaahhhhh — and lungs with a stethoscope. Next, a blood test and a CT scan of my lungs. Back to the doctor with the test results and that was that: I officially do not have Covid-19, as the virus has now officially been named.

All in all a very efficient procedure, not in the least because the hospital is very quiet these days. I'm now back in bed with what is an ordinary flu, still a bit miserable but relieved I can recover at home and not in quarantine at the hospital.

A note on debunking fake news

Please be very aware of fake news doing the rounds in WeChat groups and on other social media channels such as Youtube and Facebook. If there is no link to a verified and trustworthy source but only text — however official it may sound — a screenshot — however real it may look — or a blurry video — however dramatic the scene — it is likely fake or not relevant to the situation here in Yunnan.

Please check the original source and don't spread it until you can vouch for it being 100% real. If you are not sure or concerned please feel free to forward the picture/message/video to us and we'll verify or debunk it for you.

Be also aware of the fact that spreading panic and fake news is illegal in China and that there might be serious consequences if you engage in this.

Here is a link to an article (in Chinese) that debunks some of the untruths that were doing the rounds when the virus first became a national emergency:

The Wechat account Kunmingexpats has been spreading fake news (about trains not running) and has been reported.

There are other fake news reports, videos etc doing the rounds but we won't give them any airtime here.

Thank you

Thank you everyone in the international community in Kunming for sticking together in this difficult time. A special thanks to our Chinese friends who are helping to make Chinese news accessible and therefor being a true bridge between cultures.

In order to stem hearsay and fake news no comments will be open for this article.

If you have important news please email vera [at] gokunming [dot] com or contact us through the contact form. After verification it will be added to the article if relevant for Kunming and Yunnan residents.

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