Desperate Measures: China’s central bank says it plans to destroy most of the banknotes collected by hospitals, markets, and buses in some regions hard hit by the new coronavirus. Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the Chinese central bank, said they plan to out pump 600 billion yuan ($85.6 billion) of freshly printed paper currency to replace the bills taken out of circulation. In other areas of the country, the government has ordered banks to remove incoming paper currency from circulation and replace it with the new cash. They have been directed to keep the cash under quarantine for 14 days and disinfect it at high temperatures and with ultraviolet light before returning it to the public. –Daily Beast
Japan urges citizens to avoid crowds: Japan’s health minister on Sunday urged the public to avoid crowds and “non-essential gatherings”, including notoriously packed commuter trains, to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading in the country. Katsunobu Kato warned the nation was “entering a new phase” in the outbreak of the virus, which has infected nearly 60 people in Japan so far. “We want to ask the public to avoid non-urgent, non-essential gatherings. We want elderly and those with pre-existing conditions to avoid crowded places,” Kato said after a meeting of a panel of experts. “I think it’s important that we exercise Japan’s collective strength. We wish to ask the Japanese people for their cooperation and it will take everyone being united to tackle this infectious disease,” he told a press conference.
Kato said cases with no clear transmission chains and involving people who have not travelled to China, where the outbreak began, meant Japan was entering a new stage. The government will draft fresh guidelines for doctors about when to suspect possible coronavirus infections and for ordinary citizens to know when to seek medical care. Japan has been pushing Tokyo residents to try telecommuting or avoid rush hour commutes to ease traffic congestion during the summer Tokyo Olympic Games. Kato said the government will reiterate its calls on people to try those measures to ease spread of the virus. –Yahoo