Expert warns virus outbreak in HK 'imminent' - RTHK
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Expert warns virus outbreak in HK 'imminent'

2020-02-05 HKT 11:33
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A respiratory medicine and public health expert at the Hong Kong Medical Association has warned that a community outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus is imminent, with three new locally transmitted cases confirmed on Tuesday.

Dr Leung Chi-chiu said there are probably a number of mild cases in the community that health authorities have failed to detect because of the existing reporting criteria. He said he expects more cases of this kind to pop up in the next few days.

"If there’s a major local outbreak, we need to orientate our services to cater for the new situation because there will be a much larger number of patients, and we need to arrange our services in a way that we can optimise the use of limited resources," Leung said.

Leung said that from a public healthcare perspective, it was not wrong of Chief Executive Carrie Lam to call on people to use fewer surgical masks because of the global shortage.

But he said the problem is she did not offer an alternative. "If you can’t find a mask, what can you do? That’s the problem. Without the alternative, there may be further panic because of the mask shortage."

Leung suggested that people who cannot get hold of surgical masks use cotton ones instead.