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A county in China is offering people R2,000 to tell on neighbours who have visited Wuhan, and another is threatening the death penalty to anyone deliberately spreading the coronavirus

Sophia Ankel , Business Insider US
 Feb 05, 2020, 08:28 AM
Authorities regularly disinfect public spaces.
  • Chinese authorities are reportedly taking increasingly extreme measures to contain the rapidly-spreading Wuhan coronavirus.
  • These include offering a 1000 yuan (R2117) bounty for each Wuhan person reported by residents, the New York Times reported.
  • The Heilongjiang province is threatening the death penalty to anyone caught deliberately spreading the virus, according to the South China Morning Post.
  • In the eastern province of Jiangsu, police reportedly used metal poles to barricade the door of a family that had just come back from Wuhan.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

As China rushes to contain the rapidly-spreading Wuhan coronavirus, authorities are implementing strict measures that reportedly include a 1,000 yuan (R2,117) bounty to report anyone arriving from Wuhan, and even a potential death penalty on those found deliberately spreading the virus.

Since the initial outbreak of the virus in the central province of Hubei in December, authorities across the country have implemented strict controls, including checkpoints to screen people for fevers in toll booths, hotels, grocery stores, and train stations.

Several cities, including the epicenter Wuhan, have been put on lockdown, with government officials asking anyone traveling from the city to put themselves into quarantine for 14 days.

Authorities across the country are now taking a more "authoritarian" approach in an effort to block outsiders from infecting more people with the virus.

According to the New York Times, one county in the northern province of Hebei is allegedly offering bounties of 1,000 yuan (R2,117) for each person who has recently been in Wuhan to be reported by residents.

Medical staff, in Wuhan, China, during a coronavirus outbreak that has pushed the city to breaking point.

In other areas, residents are even being locked in their own homes by authorities. In the eastern province of Jiangsu, police reportedly used metal poles to barricade the door of a family that had just come back from Wuhan, the Times said.

To eat, the family had to rely on their neighbours to drop food onto their back balcony, the NYT cited a local news report as saying.

Courts in different provinces in China are also releasing new guidelines on the use of laws to stop the spread of the virus.

The Heilongjiang province is seemingly taking the toughest stance, announcing that anyone who intentionally spreads the coronavirus to cause public harm could face the death penalty, according to the South China Morning Post.

In the northern municipality of Tianjin, a woman was detained on Tuesday after "deliberately concealing" having made contact with someone from an area stricken by the virus, according to The Straits Times.

The 36-year-old was taken into custody for "administrative detention," although no more details were given on what she had done, or when she would be released.

At the time of writing, the death toll has risen to 425 nationwide, with two additional "outside" deaths in the Philippines and most recently, in Hong Kong.

Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, announced Tuesday that coronavirus fatalities there had risen to 414 after 64 new deaths.

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