'Three-step intervention aided HK's virus fight' - RTHK
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'Three-step intervention aided HK's virus fight'

2020-04-09 HKT 09:09
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  • 'Three-step intervention aided HK's virus fight'
University of Hong Kong public health expert, Professor Gabriel Leung, told the British parliament that steps like border control, social distancing and quarantine helped the city manage the coronavirus outbreak and keep it from overwhelming the hospitals here.

Leung, the chair of public health medicine at HKU said this as he appeared before the UK parliament's Science and Technology Committee overnight on Wednesday.

Speaking via videolink, Leung outlined the situation in Hong Kong, saying the SAR had managed to avoid a locally-sustained outbreak and that its infection rate was now heading in the right direction.

He said Hong Kong had seen Covid-19 imported in three waves: the first being from the mainland, the second from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and the third – and largest – from returnees from Europe and North America, who were mainly students.

He said there had been limited secondary spread of the disease.

Leung said as a general principle testing was important, regardless of the stage of the epidemic.

He said there were three sets of intervention, with the most earlier one being border control. The others were quarantine and social distancing.

Leung said this was necessary, even though it was no longer possible to prevent the spread of Covid-19, to stop public health systems being overwhelmed.

Leung appeared alongside Dr Seon Kui Lee, a director in Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, who also gave evidence.

She said the South Korean approach to fighting the disease had relied on a partnership between the government, academia and the private sector. She said South Korea has been able to do 15,000 to 20,000 tests per day.

The committee's chairman, Greg Clark MP, said its aim was to collect contemporary evidence from the Covid-19 outbreak to see whether any lessons could be learned for immediate use against the disease, and also for UK science and research.