Society

Society

Iran’s coronavirus outbreak is the deadliest outside China
A spike in the number of people killed and sickened by the new coronavirus in Iran has thrust the Islamic Republic to the forefront of global concern about the virus’s spread. Iranian health officials have confirmed 61 cases and 12 deaths from the coronavirus disease Covid-19, while an official from the city of Qom, the center of the outbreak in Iran, has said the contagion killed 50 people there. Either figure would dwarf death tolls in South Korea, Japan and Italy, until now the most severely-affected countries outside China, where the disease has infected more than 77,000 people and killed 2,600. How did the virus reach Iran? After insisting as recently as last week that the country had n
Iran’s coronavirus outbreak is the deadliest outside China
Mr Bean impersonator woos China
British actor Nigel Dixon is trying to calm frayed nerves in the central Chinese city of Wuhan with his online social media miniseries Mr Pea. The 53-year-old, who does an impersonation of British sitcom character Mr Bean, traveled to the region at the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in early January. He refused to leave Wuhan even as it went into lockdown, saying he worried that he could spread the virus and that he wanted to show support to the people in China.
Mr Bean impersonator woos China
How the coronavirus affects beekeepers and why it matters
Chinese beekeeper Mo Jiakai should be as busy as the inhabitants of his 200 or so hives at this time of year. He and his wife should be close to Chengdu in the southwestern province of Sichuan, ready for the colonies to make the most of the canola crops coming into bloom. Instead the 48-year-old is stuck much further south near a city called Panzhihua, trying to keep the bees alive as blanket traffic bans imposed to stop the coronavirus epidemic put their livelihood in danger. “We would have to go into quarantine for 14 days upon our arrival in Chengdu, which means the hives would be left to starve and die,” said Mo, who has been in the beekeeping business for more than two decades. “For bee
How the coronavirus affects beekeepers and why it matters
One month in virus lockdown: ‘Have we been abandoned and left here to die?’
It all came without warning. One month ago in the early hours, authorities in Wuhan, the biggest city in the central province of Hubei, announced a full lockdown in response to a coronavirus crisis that just a day earlier had been declared “under control.” It was an unprecedented moment in the history of China – and the world – and condemned the 9 million people left within the city’s limits to an unknown fate. Not even at the height of the Sars epidemic, another coronavirus outbreak 17 years earlier, had such sweeping controls on movement been imposed on so many people at one time. In the weeks since, people in the city have confronted life-altering experiences, whether in a supermarket que
One month in virus lockdown: ‘Have we been abandoned and left here to die?’
Voices from China: The citizen volunteers keeping Wuhan alive
It’s a story that repeats itself over and over in the month since the central Chinese city of Wuhan went into lockdown. As the city’s infrastructure crumbled under the weight of an epidemic the country’s leader called the “most difficult” to control, civilians sprang into action to help one another. They are ordinary citizens except for the fact that they decided to act. They are volunteers who have no experience in organizing. They have little in common besides a shared sense of purpose. Inkstone interviewed several people who are making it their mission to save Wuhan. Here are their voices. ‘It was miserable reading the news every day. We had to do something.’  Han Qing, 35, social worker
Voices from China: The citizen volunteers keeping Wuhan alive
Coronavirus outbreak inadvertently cut China’s carbon emissions
China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, may have seen its first decline in greenhouse gas emissions in three years as the coronavirus outbreak has shut down much of the country, a new study has found. The study, released on Wednesday by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air in Finland, said that coronavirus has temporarily reduced China’s carbon emissions by a quarter.  Since mid-January, China has placed cities and towns of tens of millions of people on lockdown to contain the coronavirus. These restrictive policies have resulted in repeated delays in industrial operations and a sharp reduction in energy demand. China accounts for more than one-fourth of the world’s total gree
Coronavirus outbreak inadvertently cut China’s carbon emissions
China’s poor are hit twice in coronavirus outbreak
The economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak is taking its toll on China’s poorest people as experts and the country’s leaders warned it could undermine its poverty reduction drive. The disease has killed more than 2,000 people and seen many parts of the country go into lockdown, damaging both rural and urban economies and pushing some of those affected back into poverty. Five years ago President Xi Jinping of China promised to eradicate absolute poverty in the country and build what he called a “comprehensive well-off society” by 2020. At the end of last year, 5.5 million people in rural areas remained in poverty – down from 99 million in 2012, according to the National Bureau o
China’s poor are hit twice in coronavirus outbreak
Toilet paper makers baffled by panic buying in Hong Kong
Ding Yaqing, a lawyer in the southern mainland Chinese city of Guangzhou, just could not understand it when she saw images of people panic buying toilet paper over the border in Hong Kong because of the coronavirus outbreak. “I saw [on the news] that Hong Kong people are stockpiling toilet paper,” Ding said. “But why? How could Hong Kong ever run out?” In Haizhu district where Ding lives, the supermarkets and convenience stores are well stocked with the bathroom necessity, and there are fewer shoppers around because of measures to control the spread of the virus. For Ding, who has been working from home like many people in mainland China and Hong Kong amid the outbreak, running out of toile
Toilet paper makers baffled by panic buying in Hong Kong
Hong Kong restaurants fight coronavirus with ‘hygiene ambassadors’ and table partitions
Some restaurants in Hong Kong have appointed employees as so-called hygiene ambassadors and installed table partitions in hopes of preventing the spread of the new coronavirus. The measures are also meant to make diners feel safe after members of a family were infected after sharing a meal of barbecue and hotpot, a dish where people cook and eat pieces of meat and vegetables by dipping them in a shared pot of hot broth.
Hong Kong restaurants fight coronavirus with ‘hygiene ambassadors’ and table partitions
These apps want to beat China’s censorship by turning words into a mess
Chinese people angered at the authorities’ handling of the coronavirus outbreak are trying to speak their minds online by obfuscating their messages.  Social media posts composed of dashes and dots as well as out-of-order words have cropped up on the Chinese internet after the death of Dr Li Wenliang. The doctor was chided by Chinese police in December for alerting others to a possible outbreak. His death from the virus has become a symbol of the Chinese government’s botched response to early reports of the disease now known as Covid-19. “The epidemic exposed the harm caused by censorship of speech to the people and the country,” Shu Song, a California-based Chinese developer who created a w
These apps want to beat China’s censorship by turning words into a mess