London's Chinatown district is deserted as coronavirus fears spread

Chinatown to ghost town: London’s famous district is deserted as coronavirus fears put a dampener on Chinese New Year celebrations

  • The usually thriving central London spot has taken a major business hit recently as people avoid the area 
  • The UK confirmed its first two cases and the World Health Organisation declared it a global emergency today
  • On January 25 the Chinese lunar calendar month changed from the Year of the Pig to the Year of the Rat 

London’s famous Chinatown district has become deserted as coronavirus fears put a dampener on Chinese New Year celebrations.

As the UK confirms its first two cases and the World Health Organisation declares it a global emergency, the usually thriving central London spot has taken a major business hit.

Restaurants and shops said they’ve seen up to a 50 per cent drop in business over the last two weeks, according to Metro.co.uk. 

London’s famous Chinatown district has become deserted as coronavirus fears put a dampener on Chinese New Year celebrations

As the UK confirms its first two cases and the World Health Organisation declares it a global emergency, the usually thriving central London spot has taken a major business hit

Lanterns hang in the streets in Chinatown, central London, as many desert the area due to fears of the spread of the deadly virus

Restaurants and shops said they’ve seen up to a 50 per cent drop in business over the last two weeks

It comes at a time when footfall should have been at its annual peak in the bustling Soho area. 

On January 25 the Chinese lunar calendar month changed from the Year of the Pig to the Year of the Rat. 

Last week lucky lanterns were hung from windows as drivers dropped off deliveries to restaurants preparing for the big day. 

But this week many Chinese locals and holidaymakers have been wearing medical masks as they walk around.  

Chinese medicine and alternative therapy shop counters are also selling face masks.   

Last week lucky lanterns were hung from windows as drivers dropped off deliveries to restaurants preparing for Chinese New Year 

This week many Chinese locals and holidaymakers have been wearing medical masks as they walk around

Authorities in the UK have launched a nation-wide hunt for anyone who came into contact with the UK’s first two coronavirus patients

The manager of Dumpling’s Legend restaurant Derek Lim said in the last two weeks walk-ins have dropped by 50 per cent, with many cancelling bookings. 

He said the impact of the virus on Chinatown and the community has been difficult and will only get worse.  

It comes as authorities in the UK have launched a nation-wide hunt for anyone who came into contact with the UK’s first two coronavirus patients.

The pair, believed to be Chinese nationals, had been staying at a budget hotel in York which remained open on Friday because officials reportedly refused to tell the owners their guests were the coronavirus patients.

MailOnline understands the infected people – quarantine at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle-upon-Tyne – were taken from the Staycity hotel and have never returned or collected their belongings including suitcases, clothing and toiletries, which remain sealed in their room.

The World Health Organisation has warned the never-before-seen virus – mainly spread through coughs and sneezes – can survive on surfaces such as tables and cutlery.

Around 2,000 people are thought to have jetted into Britain from Wuhan – the deserted city at the heart of the crisis – in the past three weeks, with hundreds still believed to be in the country.

Face masks are believed by some to limit the transmission of airborne viruses. They were first worn by Japanese people in the early 20th century after the break out of the Spanish flu pandemic killed between 20 and 40 million people worldwide. 

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