BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Monday marks the first working day in most parts of China after the State Council, China's cabinet, extended the seven-day Spring Festival holiday to Feb. 2 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In Beijing, although the municipal government suggested company employees work from home until Feb. 9 to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, most civil servants, employees of enterprises related to disease control and prevention, the city's operation such as water and electricity supplies, as well as residents' basic needs, had already returned to work on Monday.
A total of 115,000 employees with Beijing's sanitation sector, power, gas and heating supply departments returned to work on Monday, according to Han Li, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Management.
The commission required all the sectors to increase the frequency of disinfection of public contact facilities, equipment and appliances, and employees to measure their body temperatures every day. "Those who will provide door-to-door services have to wear masks, and disinfect their uniforms, gloves and bottom of their shoes afterward," Han said.
On Monday morning, only a few stores opened in Wangfujing, the main business street in downtown Beijing. "The first thing we did today was disinfect the whole store," said a staff member with a store that opened around 11 a.m.
In Shanghai, staffs with the department of housing management in Putuo District were busy counting the number of households who have returned to Shanghai from other places after the Chinese New Year holiday. "A tenant was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus earlier," said Yang Minjuan, staff with the department, "so we need to keep a closer look of tenants in our area."
"According to the statistics we collected earlier, most people will return to Shanghai on Feb. 5 or Feb. 6, we will collect their information of whether they were in Wuhan, and how they traveled back to Shanghai. Meanwhile, we will disinfect the hallway and take out the garbage more often to provide a safer environment in the compounds," said Yang.
Zhou Xiao, the manager of the Dahuahucheng store of Freshhema, a supermarket and online food retailer, is among those who sacrificed his holiday to guarantee food and daily necessities for local residents.
Measuring body temperature, washing hands with hand sanitizer, and putting on a mask and gloves, Zhou started his day early in the morning. He almost did not rest at all throughout the Spring Festival holiday.
"The need for fresh vegetables are extremely high during this period. Sometimes we have to restock seven or eight times a day," said Zhou. "At the same time, we have been conducting video or phone interviews to hire more deliverymen for our store."
At the Shanghai production base of Shanghai Xuerong Biotechnology Co. Ltd., one of the biggest fresh mushroom suppliers in the country, all 360 workers were back to the production line. All the works at the seven production bases in different parts of the country had resumed work as of Jan. 27, said Chen Xin, chief operating officer of the company. Over 1,000 tonnes of fresh mushrooms can be supplied to customers across the country every day, Chen added.
Except for the delaying of resumption of works of enterprises, the opening of the new semester of schools in most parts of China has been postponed as well to reduce people gathering and block the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
The overall confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection on the Chinese mainland had reached 17,205 by the end of Sunday, with 361 deaths, according to the China National Health Commission.