Office workers should sit next to a colleague ‘they dislike the most’ to keep social distancing after coronavirus lockdown is lifted, expert suggests
- Chinese doctor Zhang Wenhong advised workers to sit with people they dislike
- He said that by doing so people can avoid chatting and prevent the virus spread
- The expert suggested residents to keep social distancing after resuming work
- China scrambled to return to normal following the ease of nationwide lockdown
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Employees should sit next to a colleague ‘they dislike the most’ to keep social distancing when they return to work after the coronavirus lockdown, a medical expert has suggested.
Zhang Wenhong, head of the COVID-19 expert team in Shanghai, said on Wednesday that office workers should sit next to people they don’t get along with to avoid chatting as a way to prevent the spread of the virus.
It comes as people in China have slowly returned to work and their normal lives after cities across the country eased travel restrictions. The former epicentre Wuhan, where the outbreak began, lifted its 76-day lockdown on April 8.
But officials fear that the spike of ‘imported cases’ from inbound travellers and regional outbreaks could spoil the country’s progress to post-virus recovery.
Employees should sit next to a colleague ‘they dislike the most’ to keep social distancing after China removes the coronavirus lockdown, a medical expert has suggested. Health doctors use computers to chat online as they consult with patients at the JD.com headquarters in Beijing
Zhang Wenhong (pictured), head of the COVID-19 expert team in Shanghai, said on Wednesday that office workers should sit next to people they don’t get along with to avoid chatting at work and prevent the spread of the virus
The infectious disease expert made the remarks while attending a video conference with Europe-based Chinese companies and overseas students on Wednesday.
The meeting was held to discuss the current epidemic in Europe and answer questions about personal protection against the bug, according to the press.
Mr Zhang said that the pandemic, which has infected over two million people globally, is unlikely to end within a short period of time. It would become a common practice for people to keep social distancing after they return to work.
He advised office workers to ‘listen more and talk less’ during work meetings to reduce the risk of spreading the contagion.
Mr Zhang said that it would become a common practise for people to adopt preventative cautions against the virus spread after they return to work. FILE: Employees are pictured eating during lunch break at an auto plant of Dongfeng Honda in Wuhan
The chief medic from the Huashan Hospital, Zhang Wenhong, also recommended people to ‘avoid doing mediocre work so that the boss wouldn’t talk to you’. Passengers are pictured following the social distancing on subway in Beijing on April 15
‘You should sit with people who don’t talk much [in meetings],’ Mr Zhang suggested.
‘Or you can find people you dislike the most to sit with,’ Mr Zhang added. ‘You would only chat with people you’re friendly with, you know what I mean?
‘You see this person that you’ve never spoken to since you came into the company, try to sit next to them.
‘You leave straight after the meeting, run as fast as you can,’ said the doctor.
The chief medic from the Huashan Hospital also recommended people to ‘avoid doing mediocre work so that the boss wouldn’t talk to you’.
Mr Zhang continued: ‘When you do an amazing job, the boss would think ‘there is no point talking to you since you’ve finished all of the work’.
‘If you are too terrible at your job, your boss couldn’t bother speaking to you either. When you are doing mediocre work, the director would keep their eyes on you.’
The 51-year-old medic has gained tens of millions of followers on social media for his down-to-earth style of speech during the coronavirus outbreak, according to the press. Chinese web users even dubbed him as ‘Dad Zhang’.
Mr Zhang comment comes as China has been encouraging residents to resume work following the ease of lockdown across the country.
Hubei Province has allowed people to travel in and out of the former ground zero since late March. Wuhan also lifted its draconian clampdown on April 8.
Officials said at least 2.8million migrant workers left Hubei to resume work after the province lifted its travel restrictions on March 25. 55,000 Wuhan residents reportedly left the city on its first day of reopening.
But experts fear that the spike of ‘imported cases’ from inbound travellers and regional outbreaks could hold back the nation from returning to normal.
China also revised the death toll in coronavirus ground-zero Wuhan today, revealing that nearly 4,000 people have died from the illness in the area.
In a social media post, the city government added 1,290 deaths to the tally in Wuhan, bringing the toll to 3,869.
Officials said many fatal cases were ‘mistakenly reported’ or missed entirely in an admission that comes amid growing global doubts about Chinese transparency.
The infection tally in China now stands at 85,000 and the death toll has risen to 4,632. Globally, more than two million people have contracted the killer bug and at least 145,054 people have died.
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