Communities in China checking for Wuhan travellers
BEIJING: Communities in China are offering cash rewards, knocking on doors and questioning people trying to enter their neighbourhoods- searching for anyone coming from Wuhan.
In Beijing, neighbourhoods have sealed themselves off to force visitors or anyone returning home from the Chinese New Year holiday to register their travel history.
One district in northern Shijiazhuang city is offering cash incentives of 2,000 yuan (S$390) for reporting anyone who has travelled to Wuhan in the past two weeks.
For some communities, anyone who has visited central Hubei province - of which Wuhan is the capital - is no longer welcome at all.
"Even if you live here, you can't enter," said a guard in a mask at the entrance of a Beijing neighbourhood when asked about returning Hubei residents.
China has scrambled to contain the epidemic by halting transport from Wuhan, suspending overseas tour groups, cutting long-distance bus routes and suspending trains.
NO BLIND SPOTS
A week ago, China's health commission urged villages to leave "no blind spots" when investigating where people have travelled.
"If they look unfamiliar or are dragging a suitcase, I'll ask them to register," said a woman working at a compound in Beijing.
Many neighbourhoods will allow travellers back in - but monitor them over a two-week quarantine period. Once in their homes, "they cannot go in and out", said Ms Xu Aimin, secretary of a neighbourhood in Beijing.
If they need to buy food, the neighbourhood committee can do that for them.
Residents from Hubei province also receive daily phone calls and have their temperature recorded during quarantine, she added.
The targeting of people from Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province has also raised concern of deepening stigma.
"How you see Wuhan is how the world will see China," wrote one user on Weibo, China's e social media site. - AFP