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CHOW.. MEIN: UK Chinese Restaurants See Downturn Following Coronavirus Fear

CHINESE restaurant and takeaway owners have voiced concern after seeing a sharp drop in footfall in London’s Chinatown following the Coronavirus outbreak.

One local said: “As you can see this street is getting quieter than before, just because of the virus.”

“I don’t think that the situation is that severe but people worry,” said Ocean, a local business operator.

“The coronavirus actually does affect our business quite badly,” said a shop owner, while another one complained that “the restaurants are completely empty.”

The coronavirus outbreak has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Close to 500 hundred have died and more than 24,000 people have been infected with the respiratory disease which originated in the Wuhan city in China.

The UK Government has launched a UK-wide public information blitz advising Brits on how to slow the spread of coronavirus and reduce the impact on NHS services.

The government-funded campaign includes public health advice on how people can protect themselves from infection.

The campaign will promote important hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.

The campaign advises the public to:

  • always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes, and bin the tissue
  • wash hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel, to kill germs

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our highly trained and experienced clinicians are working round the clock to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the UK.”

“The government has detailed plans for how to deal with an outbreak like this. We can all play our part.”

“Basic hygiene such as washing our hands regularly and using tissues when we cough and sneeze can play an important role in minimising the spread of viruses like this. Today we have launched a UK-wide public information campaign to help the public protect themselves and each other.”

“Our world-class NHS is well prepared and we are doing everything we can to protect the public.”

People who have travelled back from the Hubei province in China within the last 14 days are being asked to:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the city
  • if you are in Northern Ireland, call your GP

Anyone who has travelled from anywhere else in China (not including Macao or Hong Kong) to the UK in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath should immediately self-isolate, even if symptoms are minor, and call NHS 111.

The UK is extremely well prepared for any potential outbreak of an infectious disease – we are one of the first countries in the world to have developed a test for the new virus.

On Friday 31 January 2020, 2 patients in England, who are members of the same family, tested positive for coronavirus. 

They are receiving specialist NHS care and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus.

The government is already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had to prevent further spread, and are in close contact with the World Health Organization and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure the UK is ready for all eventualities.

Coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. For further information on coronavirus, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Additional Reporting by Ruptly and PA Media

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