BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 26: A Chinese security g
A security guard checks for fever in people entering a residential building in Beijing on 26 February (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

  • Health authorities in Qianjiang, a city in China's Hubei province, are giving R22,000 to anyone who reports coronavirus symptoms and then tests positive.
  • The city, which has a population of one million, has 197 cases and is around 140km from Wuhan, where the coronavirus broke out in December 2019.
  • Officials across Hubei province are desperate to stop the outbreak from further spreading. Many have turned to financial incentives or other ways of finding new cases.
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A city in China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, is awarding residents 10,000 yuan (R22,000) if they report any symptoms, and later test positive.

The Coronavirus Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters of Qianjiang city announced the new incentive on Thursday, and said the reward is valid until March 2.

If authorities aren't totally sure the person reporting their symptoms is free of the virus, they will be given 1,000 yuan (R2,200) and allowed to go home, the statement said.

If the person is "suspected" of having the virus, they will be awarded 2,000 yuan (R4,400).

Qianjiang city has one million residents and is around 140km from Wuhan. It currently has 197 cases, Reuters reported. It has also reported deaths, but the exact number is not known.

This is one of many financial incentives authorities across Hubei have been giving out in an attempt to stem the outbreak, Reuters reported.

The district of Hanyang, in Wuhan, and the city of Huangguang, also in Hubei, are offering 500 yuan (R1,100) to those who hand themselves for testing.

Local authorities across central China, where Hubei is located, have exhausted a number of options to try and control the virus.

They have used facial-recognition software to catch people breaking their quarantines, flown drones over towns to make sure people are wearing masks, and are checking temperatures at every possible opportunity.

Last week Hubei province also issued a notice telling pharmacies and medical centers to report the name, address, and other personal details of people who had purchased fever and cough medicines.

As of Thursday, the coronavirus death toll has surpassed 2,800, with more than 82,000 infected. More than 40 countries have also reported cases.

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