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Old 04-02-2020, 09:24 AM   #5
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 7,001
The 12-hour train journey to Lanzhou was uneventful. However everyone on the train was wearing face masks. I was reminded by a train attendant who caught me without one along the passage. "Put your mask on, or stay in your cabin!" Towns along the route appeared to be deserted. It struck me that this would not be normal the case even on a winter morning during the CNY holidays.

As the train pulled into Lanzhou, I saw that the elderly folk on their morning walks had masks on too. Walking out to the square before Lanzhou station, it was apparent that businesses have been ordered not to open. KFC and McDonalds put up new posters that stated they had been ordered not to open by the government. I imagined that this would be the busiest square in the city otherwise. Anxious for a bath or perhaps a short hotel stay, I walked a few blocks. None of the hotels in the area operated. Confused travellers were caught unaware and not a few touts were out, asking people if they would like accommodation. As there was no warm food to be found, nor any bath-houses open, I decided to head back into the station to get onto the airport express.

It was back to the routine of temperature and security checks for the ticketing hall and main station. I reached Lanzhou airport sometime around noon. The airport express was really a HSR connection between the city and the airport 60km away. The food court and McDonald's were open. I wolfed down a burger meal before searching for a hotel. The airport hotels were full, but I found that massage parlours allowed one to stay on hourly rates or if a massage package was purchased. I settled into one but was informed that massage would not be possible given the current situation. Nevertheless, I made myself comfortable in a room for the 10 hours before my flight out of China.

The 2350h Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur was 75% full, of Pakistani students, some Malaysians and mainland Chinese. People shared news that Singapore was going to deny entry to non-pass holders from China the next day. Boarding for the flight was late. I could not see why, but disembarking passengers were released from the aircraft in batches. There were medical staff processing the arrivals at the aerobridge, I suppose. Boarding completed at 0130h and all passengers were given a photocopied Malaysian health advisory by the flight attendants. All passengers and the flight attendants had their face masks on.

I did not get to sleep properly before the arrival at KLIA2. KLIA2 was a hive of activity even at 6 in the morning. Maybe only 10% of people here had their masks on. Most of the airline counter staff did so, I observed. I had a very quick meal after checking in for the 0800h KUL-SIN puddle hopper. The flight attendants for this flight did not have their face masks on. In fact there was hardly any temperature screening at KLIA2. Arriving at Singapore, everything seemed routine other than posters to have new arrivals declare if they came from China. I informed the ICA staff checking my passport. He asked if I visited Hubei and assured me that no follow-up was necessary as I did not visit Hubei.

Last edited by beanstalk6; 04-02-2020 at 11:37 AM..
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