HK Coronavirus outbreak not at peak: Gabriel Leung - RTHK
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HK Coronavirus outbreak not at peak: Gabriel Leung

2020-03-01 HKT 12:06
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  • HK Coronavirus outbreak not at peak: Gabriel Leung
The Dean of the University of Hong Kong's Faculty of Medicine, Professor Gabriel Leung, on Sunday warned that the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong had not yet reached its peak, saying it was too early to tell when it would be over and people should not let their guard down against the respiratory disease.

As of Saturday, Hong Kong had reported 95 confirmed cases of the virus, known as Covid-19, and two deaths.

But speaking after a radio programme, Professor Leung said the overall decline in new cases on the mainland did show that the first wave of the outbreak there was largely under control, except in Hubei province, where the disease appears to have originated.

On Sunday, the mainland reported 573 new Covid-19 infections, up from the 427 on Saturday and the highest for a week, although much lower than earlier in the month. The mainland's National Health Commission also reported 35 deaths, fewer than the 47 on Saturday, which took the death toll to 2,870. All but one of Sunday's deaths - and all but three of its new cases - were in Hubei. The total number of cases on the mainland is now approaching 80,000.

Professor Leung said the rest of the world was now only seeing the beginning of the outbreak and this would make containing the spread of the virus in Hong Kong more difficult. However, he said Hong Kong had actually been doing well at virus control.

"The rest of the world actually views Hong Kong, along with Singapore, as the gold standard in epidemic control," he said.

"If you look at these two places, we have very similar absolute numbers of confirmed cases, yet we have a population that is one third bigger then Singapore, so - on a per capita basis - we're not doing too badly."

Professor Leung also urged the government to carefully plan the transport arrangements for bringing back Hong Kong people stuck in Hubei, so as to prevent any potential spread of the disease. The government has said it will charter flights to bring them home.

Professor Leung said it was likely that some of them would test positive for the virus and stringent quarantine measures must be in place here