Society

Pedestrians wearing protective masks are reflected in an advertisement in the Central district of Hong Kong, January 29, 2020. (Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and its possible effects on the Hong Kong economy

Hong Kong, being adjacent to mainland China, is worried about the Wuhan coronavirus. Besides the physical impact, there would be political and economic impacts as well if there is an outbreak. Economics professor Paul Yip examines these possible effects, and explains why Hong Kongers are calling for a complete closure of Hong Kong’s border with China.
medical staff attending to a patient at the Central Hospital of Wuhan. The authorities in China have been criticised for its handling of the new coronavirus originating in Wuhan. (Internet)

Can the Wuhan coronavirus lead to good governance?

As the Wuhan coronavirus continues to expose China’s systemic flaws in crisis response and disease prevention and control, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan says the authorities must come to grips with their governance issues and take in the larger learning points of the epidemic.
Medical staff collecting medical supplies from the Wuhan Red Cross Society on 27 January 2020. (Wuhan Red Cross Society official Weibo)

Wuhan coronavirus: Hubei and Wuhan Red Cross Society officials draw flak

Poor handling of the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic continues to incur public wrath. This time, China’s Red Cross fields tough questions as to why donated supplies are not reaching those in need.
Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention head Gao Fu at a news conference on the Wuhan coronavirus in Beijing, 22 January 2020. Gao released a paper suggesting that the authorities knew of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus but did not reveal that information. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

China CDC Head: Hero or villain?

Following a paper published by Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), China’s angry netizens are asking if the China CDC knew earlier that the Wuhan coronavirus could spread between humans.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang wearing a mask and protective suit speaks to medical workers as he visits the Jinyintan hospital where the patients of the new coronavirus are being treated following the outbreak, in Wuhan, January 27, 2020. (Reuters)

Wuhan coronavirus: China needs less politics, more science

Political analyst Zheng Yongnian says adopting a scientific approach in their daily lives would help the Chinese better cope with tests such as the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Refusing to take ownership, the people blame the system, as if it was omnipotent and infallible. He warns that if individuals do not adopt the clear-eyed rationality of science, take a good hard look at themselves and chip in their own capacities, China will continue to lack the stoicism and initiative it needs from all quarters to cope with crises.
Some officials in China have been ineffective in handling the Wuhan coronavirus. (Mark Ralston/AFP)

Local officials held to account for ineffective control of Wuhan coronavirus

With the Wuhan coronavirus sweeping the world, the authorities are hard put to hold to account officials who were inept and shirked their duty in one way or another. ZB journalist Lim Zhan Ting finds out more.
Life in "double" lockdown: A banner with large, unwelcoming words towards people from Wuhan.

[Photo story] Shunned everywhere, Hubei people want to go home

Some people of China are taking matters into their own hands with barricades and roadblocks to keep Hubei people out. Information of people arriving from Wuhan are shared, and Wuhan and Hubei people, regardless of whether they are infected, become online shaming targets. These Weibo photos provide a glimpse of life in “double” lockdown. And the people from Hubei who are travelling outside? They are yearning to go back home. 
How should public opinion be handled amidst the escalation of the Wuhan coronavirus? (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Wuhan "rumour-monger" netizens are heroes after all

Amidst intensifying public opinion and discussion on the rapidly escalating Wuhan coronavirus, the Supreme People’s Court has broken the silence and stepped out in defence of alleged rumour-mongers, openly questioning Wuhan officials’ mishandling of the outbreak in its initial stages. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu finds out from academics how Wuhan officials could have better dealt with public opinion in the Internet era.
Visitors offer up prayers on the first day of the first lunar month at Wong Tai Sin temple in Hong Kong, 25 January 2020. (Dale de la Rey/AFP)

[Photo story] A muzzled anxious start to the Rat Year in China

Chinese New Year is usually a time of celebration and feasting, with the festivities stretching all through the first fifteen days of the first lunar month. This year, however, the arrival of the Wuhan coronavirus has put a significant dampener on what is generally the biggest festival of the year for the Chinese. ThinkChina offers a glimpse into the muted welcome for the Year of the Rat.