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

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Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 8:00PM 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

The WHO has declared Covid-19 a global pandemic

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.

Monday March 2 update: Here is a link to daily global situation reports by the WHO

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


March 31 update: China has made it policy that the vaccine will be available voluntarily to foreign residents - for now those who are between 18 and 59 years old. It is expected that those over 60 years old will also become eligible. Source: This information has been shared by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Dutch embassy.

Some schools in Yunnan are starting to vaccinate their students and faculty, and are planning on including foreigners - your school will share this information with you. Please feel free to reach out and share your personal experiences.

Kunming plans to roll out vaccines to the general public very soon. Here is some information about the appointment service.


How and why to obtain a health certificate

Friday August 14 update: a negative Covid-19 test might be required for certain situations, for instance international travel which is slowly resuming. Here is a report from one of our readers on how to obtain it:

The Kunming Medical University Second Affiliated Hospital on Dianmiandadao (滇缅大道). go register with your passport at the windows on ground floor, get a card, pay 10 RMB. The Chinese word for 'register' is guahao (挂号). Then, go to the general medicine room #1 (no queuing) and get the paper for the covid test. Take the paper back to the window where you registered and pay 90 RMB. With the receipt go downstairs, where the tents are. They will put a q-tip down your throat. The next day you can go and pick up the result on the third floor.

Please note that more hospitals can do these tests but that the time when you receive the results and the price may vary. Thank you Kris for the update!

One of our volunteers set out to obtain a 'health certificate' that some international residents have been asked to show to police. Please note that it is not compulsory to carry such a certificate.

Your local PSB will not provide any certificate of health, or proof that you have not traveled for the past 14 days.

For 129 RMB, your nearest community clinic will provide you with a "certificate of good health", which is usually issued to people who are preparing to travel elsewhere in China for work. It consists of a chest X-ray and a blood test (not for Covid-19, just for general signs of infection). You will need to bring your passport and proof of residence. Some clinics may accept just the police registration slip. Some may require a stamped letter from your apartment property management or the community management office.

Some people may need this document to return to work. Other than this it is not necessary or even useful, unless you're facing repeated requests from police or your community management.

Risk management: low, medium and high risk areas

Tuesday September 15 update: New cases in Ruili, imported from Myanmar. The border has been closed to all traffic both ways and Ruili is in lockdown with strict measures for prevention of infection in place.

As the country is preparing to return to work, the government has issued clear guidelines on how to determine low, medium and high-level risk areas — depending on the number of Covid-19 infections over a certain time frame.

For Kunming these are the following areas:
Low-risk — That is: no confirmed cases, or no new confirmed cases for 14 consecutive days. These are Dongchuan District, Jinning District, Fumin County, Yiliang County, Shilin County and Luquan County.

Medium risk — That is: there were newly confirmed cases within 14 days, and the cumulative confirmed cases did not exceed 50; or there were more than 50 confirmed cases but no cluster epidemic occurred within 14 days. These are Wuhua District, Panlong District, Guandu District, Xishan District, Chenggong District, Anning City, Songming County, and Xundian County.

There are no high-risk areas in Kunming. That is, more than 50 confirmed cases have occurred and there have been clustered outbreaks within 14 days.

The second Covid-19 death occorred in Yunnan — in Xishuangbanna — but overall the epidemic seems to be under control in Yunnan.

Managment of returnees to Kunming

Infor on guidelines for returnees can be found here. (in Chinese)

There are strict measures for returnees from the lockdown and non-lockdown areas of Hubei province (see above article).

Returnees from heavy-hit regions outside of Hubei must fill out a declaration of good health, and go through self-quarantine at home — if they have one — or concentrated quarantine in a designated hotel.

Returnees from all other areas outside of Kunming must fill outa declaration of good health and are responsible for monitoring or reporting any symptoms.

Please note that quarantine may still be imposed by employers.

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 and case updates

Wednesday March 31 update: 6 new cases have emerged in Ruili, from Myanmar citizens who crossed into China. The bridge to Myanmar has been closed and the city is currently in lockdown.

Saturday December 26 update: a new imported case has been found in Panlong district, Kunming./pages/detail/news?id=259687#. Some areas of Qingyun Lu and Shuanglong Lu have been quarantined.

Tuesday July 7 update: A couple more imported cases — on July 1, two Chinese citizens who returned on flights coming from Russia tested positive for the virus

Friday March 27 update: The latest official notice says that there are now 6 'imported' cases in Yunnan.

The above link also includes the latest official guidelines regarding quarantine measures — this allows people with two negative RNA test and one negative antibody test do the second half of their 14 day quarantine day at home. Be sure to keep all your hospital paperwork with you at all time. Whether you can quarantine at home also depends on the community management and the management of the quarantine hotel. It does not retroactively apply to people who already started their hotel quarantine, they will have to finish their 14 days at the designated hotel.

As more Covid-19 cases are arriving in China from abroad we will continue to keep you updated on how this affects people traveling to Kunming here.

Tuesday March 17 update: Yesterday one more case was reported, traveling from France to Kunming.

Monday March 16 update: A man returning from visiting relatives in Spain has brought the first new case of Covid-19 to Kunming, after 23 days of no new cases in Yunnan.

Thursday February 20 update: The first Covid-19 case in Chenggong has been reported

Wednesday February 19 update: The first Yunnan fatality of Covid-19 has been reported in Yuxi.

Wednesday February 19 update: Here is a live-updated map of quarantined buildings in Kunming.

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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