Alice Yan

Alice Yan

Alice Yan is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a Shanghai-based social and medical news reporter at the South China Morning Post.

Coronavirus lockdowns may need to last 6 weeks to be effective
Populations might have to endure lockdowns or stay-at-home orders of more than six weeks before the coronavirus pandemic can be brought under control in their area, researchers in the United States have said. According to the study published this week on SSRN, an open-source journal for early-stage research, countries adopting aggressive interventions might see a moderation of an outbreak after almost three weeks, control of the spread after one month, and containment after 45 days. The researchers defined aggressive intervention as lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, mass testing and quarantine. With less aggressive intervention, the process could take much longer. “In the absence of a vaccine,
Chinese passenger subdued after coughing at a flight attendant
Thai Airways staff restrained a Chinese woman on Friday after she coughed at a flight attendant.  The carrier said the woman coughed deliberately at the attendant because she was angered about having to wait seven hours on the plane at Shanghai Pudong International Airport for medical screening. Thai Airways said that every passenger arriving in Shanghai or flying through the airport from countries with a high number of coronaviruses patients, including Italy, Iran and South Korea, must be examined by medical staff on the aircraft. Planes that were not checked were not permitted to open their doors to let passengers off. The chaos on the plane reflects how the spread of the coronavirus has d
Chinese propaganda under fire for ‘humiliating’ female nurses
Chinese state media reports heaping praise on women nurses for their sacrifices in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic are backfiring online, with social media users and academics dismissing them as propaganda and “humiliating.” State broadcaster CCTV led the charge last week, describing a nurse who was in her last month of pregnancy as “a great mother and angel in a white gown” because she had continued to work in the emergency ward of a hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak in central China. Zhao Yu was due to give birth in 20 days when the report aired, and apparently insisted she should remain on duty at a hospital overwhelmed with virus patients. Although her colleague
China says new virus can spread between humans as travel season looms
A recently identified coronavirus has killed at least six people, Chinese authorities said Tuesday. Previously, on Monday, China’s health authorities said that 15 medical staff members in the central Chinese city had contracted the virus, confirming that it is spreading by human transmission and raising concerns that people at the most virulent stage of infection – so-called super-spreaders – could infect many others. The World Health Organization (WHO) said it would call an emergency meeting on Wednesday to decide whether the outbreak should be declared an international public health emergency. The new strain of coronavirus was identified this month after a mystery pneumonia started strikin
Scientists face uphill battle in reviving wild yellow croaker stocks
Scientists are stepping up efforts to protect the stocks of wild yellow croaker fish – the most popular sea fish on Chinese dinner tables – by preparing fry for release into the wild, state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday. News of the conservation plan came about two weeks after the Chinese paddlefish, a species indigenous to the Yangtze River and one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, was declared extinct, prompting a public backlash against dam-building, overfishing, heavy water traffic, pollution and other human activities on Asia’s longest river. A 10-year commercial fishing ban has been announced to protect the aquatic life in the Yangtze.  The yellow croaker is often found o
‘Ass-kissing’ research paper triggers discussion on academic misconduct in China
A research paper filled with praise for the author’s supervisor was met with a wave of ridicule and anger online in China’s latest academic scandal. The paper published in the Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology seven years ago suddenly went viral last week, after some internet users posted screenshots of the article on social media.  Many people were shocked to find that the article on ecological economics was actually filled with extravagant praise for the author’s supervisor Cheng Guodong and Cheng’s wife Zhou Youfen.  Cheng was also the chief editor of the Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology.  The 35-page paper by Xu Zhongmin, a specialist in frozen ground and permafrost with the sta
The depleted Yangtze, Asia’s longest river, gets a 10-year fishing ban
China has imposed a 10-year commercial fishing ban in the Yangtze – the first ever for Asia’s longest river – in a bid to protect its aquatic life. Facing dwindling fish stocks and declining biodiversity in the 3,915-mile river, the Chinese government decided seasonal moratoriums were not enough. The ban took effect on Wednesday, and will be applied at 332 conservation sites along the river.  It will be extended to cover the main river course and key tributaries by January 1 next year, according to a State Council notice. “The Yangtze is a major river in the world in terms of its aquatic species diversity. It is also an important shield for protecting our country’s ecology and improving cons
Father of China's ‘Ice Boy’ says the family is still struggling
The father of the “Ice Boy” – who became the face of China’s fight against poverty after he was pictured covered in icicles following a freezing trek to school – said the family was still struggling to make ends meet.  The boy, Wang Fuman, from the southwestern province of Yunnan, was eight when a photo of him taken by a teacher went viral on social media in January 2018.  It showed the little boy with his hair and eyebrows covered in ice and his cheeks ruddy from the cold after he had walked for more than an hour from his home in thin clothing along treacherous mountain paths. The plight of the impoverished primary school student touched hearts across China, with many people expressing symp
Chinese state media approves of YouTube star Li Ziqi
A woman from southwestern China, whose YouTube video channel celebrating rural life is followed by nearly 7.5 million people, has been hailed by state media for her role in promoting Chinese culture. Li Ziqi, 29, from Pingwu in Sichuan province, started her video blogs on traditional food and crafts three years ago after giving up city life to return to the village where she was raised by her grandparents. Li, who now looks after her grandmother, has a library of 100 videos that have been seen tens of millions of times by audiences across the world.  Supporters argue that she has done more to sell Chinese culture than the Confucius Institute, the government-backed soft power promotional org
Live-streaming app ordered to compensate family of dead rooftopper
A Chinese live-streaming app has lost its appeal and was ordered to pay compensation after a “rooftopper” fell to his death while doing live-streaming from the top of a skyscraper.  Wu Yongning, known as China’s No 1 rooftopper, had more than one million followers on several live-streaming apps and had uploaded almost 300 videos of his daredevil stunts in which he scaled tall buildings without any safety equipment. Wu, who said he relied only on “martial arts training and careful planning,” plunged to his death from the top of the 62-story Huayuan Hua Center in the central Chinese city of Changsha during a live stream in November 2017. He was 26. In May, the Beijing Internet Court ruled that