Coronavirus chaos: China offers bizarre £1,100 REWARD to citizens who catch virus

Residents in the Chinese city of Qianjiang, 90 miles from the stricken provincial capital of Wuhan, are being offered rewards as officials attempt to encourage members of the public to attend medical checks. Qianjiang has reported a total of 197 cases so far and is stepping up efforts to ensure its infected people are confined and treated for the coronavirus. 

The Qianjiang task force handling the epidemic said in a notice that residents who test positive for coronavirus can receive a payment of 10,000 yuan (£1,100).

Citizens who have previously been diagnosed with the killer disease will not be eligible.

Residents not immediately ruled out as suffering from the disease will be given £110 (1,000 yuan), while citizens in “suspected” cases will earn £220 (2,000 yuan).

Qianjiang is the latest of a number of regions to offer cash rewards to encourage members of the public to volunteer for medical checks.

Hubei has reported over 65,000 cases and more than 2,600 deaths from the epidemic.

Worldwide, the death toll is about 2,800 and about 80,000 have been infected.

Hopes the coronavirus would be contained to China vanished on Friday as infections spread rapidly around the world, countries started stockpiling medical equipment and investors took flight in expectation of a global recession.

Officials at WHO said it would be a “fatal mistake” for any country to assume it will not be hit by the coronavirus, and rich countries that might have thought they were safer should expect surprises.

In Europe, the number of people who tested positive for the illness in Italy increased by more than 200 to 650.

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Germany, which warned of an impending epidemic, has about 27 cases, France around 18 and Spain 15.

While, Greece announced tighter border controls.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Disneyland and Osaka-based theme park Universal Studios Japan have confirmed they will shut their doors from Saturday to March 15.

And Tokyo Olympics organisers will make a decision later next week on how they plan to hold the ceremonial torch relay.

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