Shenzhen set for 'zero contact' SAR permits

Local | 20 Feb 2020

Charlotte Luo

The public security bureau in Shenzhen will launch on Monday a new "zero contact" channel for Shenzhen residents who have applied for a permit to visit family members in Hong Kong amid the epidemic.

The channel, set up by the bureau's exit-entry administration division, will also issue permits allowing a Hong Kong resident's spouse and parents to leave the mainland and enter the SAR for residence after they have gained a dependent visa from Hong Kong's immigration department.

Applicants in Shenzhen need not go to an exit-entry center and can instead dial 0755-84465490 to make a booking.

After their appointment is confirmed in a phone call, postal officers will go to the applicants' homes to collect signatures and documents.

Applicants can use the public security bureau's Wechat account to check the progress of their applications, and the permits will be delivered to them.

Tourist permits for Guangdong residents will remain suspended.

Meanwhile, more than half of the major industrial enterprises in "major economy" provinces and cities, including Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shanghai, have resumed production, said an official with the National Development and Reform Commission.

Tang Shemin, the second inspector of the commission's operations bureau, said that 36 out of 37 major grain and oil processing companies, as well as 80 percent of key companies in the non-ferrous metals industry, have also resumed operations.

He added that manufacturers of disease prevention-related materials have made remarkable progress in work resumption, especially factories producing face masks.

However, micro, small and medium-sized businesses are facing many challenges, including understaffing, transport and logistics issues, he said, adding that authorities are finding ways to solve these problems.

The news came as Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi yesterday warned police officers not to be excessive and "crude" while enforcing the law for containing the Covid-19 outbreak.

This came after videos surfaced showing a man who was not wearing a mask being tied to a pillar, and several people not wearing masks being tied up and marched down a street.

One video showed a mahjong table being smashed and a man beaten after a neighbor complained that three men were playing mahjong at home.

The mainland death toll hit 2,004 after 136 people died on Tuesday, according to the National Health Commission.

There were 1,749 new cases, taking the number of confirmed cases to 74,185.

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