As China is at the forefront of fighting a new strain of coronavirus, KeyQuest Health would like to reach out to our Chinese colleagues in solidarity and let them know that we are thinking of them in these difficult times.
This situation is dynamic and in response to increasing questions regarding the current ability to conduct market research in China, we would advise the following:
Assume in-person research should be avoided for the foreseeable future
Advice in China is to minimize all outings and travel is being restricted – e.g. in Shanghai and Guangzhou there are strict government measures in place to control who is allowed to enter the cities. It would be contrary to this advice to ask healthcare professionals to travel to facilities for in-person research or to have moderators attempt in-hospital interviews.
Tele-depth interviews and online research is still feasible
However, it is important to manage expectations with the understanding that progress will be impacted and that timelines will need to be adjusted to account for anticipated delays. Hospital medical staff and healthcare related government institutions, especially respiratory departments, are heavily involved in fighting against this new strain and many experts are assisting with epidemic research in the Wuhan area.
Many market research offices have been closed as municipal governments extended the Chinese New Year public holiday until February 9th in some areas – this could continue to be extended. Even so, many individuals are continuing to work from home so that quotes can still be provided. However, given the unique and fluid circumstances that are in play, exact timings cannot be guaranteed for the foreseeable future.
An understanding needs to be built into all current proposals that we are fielding during an unusual time and that teams should prepare to be flexible and reactive to this ever-changing situation.
For more information on this new strain of coronavirus disease, we recommend that you visit the WHO website which is being updated daily with new information surrounding the current outbreak: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019