Coronavirus News (Feb 6) Mandatory Quarantine, Experts Speak...
06 Feb 2020
There's been more and more good news coming out in the last few days; however, that doesn't seem to be slowing down the closures; and now... a new quarantine for anyone entering Hong Kong from Mainland China.
Death Rate from Coronavirus Pneumonia Dropping
According to a China Daily article from February 4th, the death rate from pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus on the Chinese mainland has declined by 0.2 percentage points and now stands at 2.1%. The rate is 3.1% in Hubei province but reaches 4.9% in Wuhan, the provincial capital, where the lack of critical care medical resources had been a factor in the high death rate. If Hubei is excluded, the death rate in other regions on the Chinese mainland is 0.16% with most patients who have been infected only showing mild symptoms. The death rate has been high for elderly people with other non-related forms of pneumonia. Two thirds of the deaths were male and 80 percent of them are older than 60 and 75% of those who had died had more than one other disease, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and tumors.
Transmission from Asymptomatic People is Weak, Expert Says
Li Xingwang, a member of the National Medical Expert Group, on February 4th said that asymptomatic infection is weak in transmission, and the cases of asymptomatic infection found so far (that is people who have been infected but show no symptoms) have occurred mostly among family members. These cases are relatively mild. The amount of virus is related to the severity of the disease, so it is weaker in transmission ability.
World Health Organization: This is NOT a Pandemic
Sylvie Briand, director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Infectious Hazard Management Division, said at a press conference held in Geneva on February 4th, that the outbreak of pneumonia caused by new coronavirus has not constituted a "pandemic" (the global spread of a new disease) so far. One of the reasons is that as of now, most cases in China are from Hubei Province. Most cases outside of Hubei Province are clustered “overflow” cases. More than 20 other countries that have reported outbreaks have similar “overflow” cases.
Travel Restrictions Should Be Short in Duration, Proportionate to the Public Health Risks, WHO Director General Says
At the aforementioned meeting, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization said that the strong measures taken by China at the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak have prevented significant spread abroad, providing a "window of opportunity" to halt transmission. He also stressed that currently 99% of cases are in China and 97% of deaths are in Hubei Province.
He called on countries not to impose travel and trade restrictions stating that "Such restrictions can have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit." 22 countries have so far informed the WHO they are implementing such measures. "Where such measures have been implemented, we urge that they are short in duration, proportionate to the public health risks, and are reconsidered regularly as the situation evolves," he said.
Source: 世卫组织：面对疫情无需恐慌 应团结一致采取行动
Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine for ALL People Entering Hong Kong from Mainland China
The following sign was displayed at Shenzhen Bay Port, the only open land border with Hong Kong in Shenzhen, on February 5th, shortly after the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Carrie Lam, announced in a press conference that Hong Kong would begin a compulsory 14-day quarantine for all people entering Hong Kong from Mainland China starting Saturday. Further details were not introduced during the press conference and have not yet been made available. No further details have yet been provided.
Lam described the measures as severe, and advised citizens not to leave Hong Kong, or to return to Hong Kong from a foreign country later if necessary. In addition, she said that with the drastic decline in passenger flow, cross-border transportation services will be reduced; including a 90% reduction of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon mainland flights, cross-border buses and other bus services, such as those connecting to Shenzhen Bay Port. She also announced that immigration services at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal and Ocean Terminal would be suspended immediately.
What about the Ferry From Shekou to Hong Kong International Airport?
None of the official public announcements we've seen have made any mention of whether passengers travelling via the ferry to Hong Kong International Airport from Shekou, Shenzhen in Mainland China will be subject to the new 14-day quarantine rule so we called the port directly to confirm. We were told that no, they will not, as these ferry passengers do not technically enter into Hong Kong during the voyage. We'll keep an eye on this and send out an announcement if we hear of anything to the contrary.
20 Parks Closed in Shenzhen. Other Activities Cancelled
To prevent and control the epidemic, Shenzhen has suspended the opening of 20 parks, and the reopening time will be announced at a later date. The Shenzhen Municipal Administration and Comprehensive Law Enforcement Bureau announced yesterday that various cultural exhibitions, popular science education, and festival exhibitions held in Shenzhen Park have been cancelled, and enclosed spaces and various recreational facilities have also been closed.
Canton Fair Complex Announces Suspension of All Exhibition Activities
On February 3rd, the Canton Fair Complex announced that due to the novel coronavirus situation, it will be suspending all exhibition activities until further notice.
Source: 【通知】广交会展馆|关于暂停一切展会活动的通知 (This source article has been deleted)
Businesses Must Get Approval Before Resuming Work
According to the "Notice of the Guangdong Provincial People's Government on the Resumption of Work and School Start Times," enterprises must meet certain conditions before resuming work (no sooner than 24:00 on February 9th), in accordance with the "Shenzhen Enterprise Resumption and New Coronavirus Infection Pneumonia Prevention and Control Guidelines". Click here for a complete list of the requirements, conditions and where to apply (in Chinese). Subject to the above conditions, businesses must report to the district's relevant department or sub-district office at least 3 days in advance to fill out the necessary forms. After the relevant department or sub-district office receives the materials, if the materials are complete, it shall organize on-site inspections within 3 days of receiving the filing materials. If the applicant meets all the requirements after verifications, a judgement will be issued as soon as possible. All types of enterprises in the region can resume work only after completing this process. Enterprises that have not done so are not allowed to resume work.
New Policy Says You Don't Need to Always Wear a Mask
The Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention has formulated provincial level guidelines for the use of masks to protect against the new coronavirus. The guidelines clarifies who should where masks and when, how to wear them, and how to dispose of them.
Who does NOT need to wear masks?
The general public does NOT need wear masks in the following situations: well ventilated outdoor places (such as parks, communities, streets) with a distance of more than 2 meters from others; well-ventilated offices; solitary or family members are healthy (home, driving).
Young infants and young children cannot wear masks, which can cause suffocation.
Who should wear masks?
The general public should wear masks when entering densely populated or enclosed public places. Disposable medical masks, or ordinary masks (such as paper masks, cloth masks, cotton gauze masks, sponge masks, activated carbon masks, etc.), or anything that can cover their mouth and nose, and can changed and washed frequently, are acceptable. Medical protective masks (N95 and above) are mainly used by medical personnel, etc. The general public does not need this level of protection.
If you feel symptomatic and need to go to the hospital or clinic, you need to wear a medical surgical mask.
People with basic respiratory ailments should use masks per the guidance of a doctor.
Those in public transportation, taxi drivers (including online taxis), sanitation workers, service personnel in public places, and couriers should wear disposable medical masks.
Medical personnel who are not related to the epidemic use medical surgical masks in their daily work.
People who come into contact with home isolation and close contacts (community / neighborhood committees, field epidemiological investigators, etc.) are recommended to wear medical surgical masks when working.
Workers in other high-risk industries (such as specimen collection personnel, environmental disinfection personnel and cadaver handling personnel, etc.) need to wear medical protective masks (N95 and above) at work.
Suspected cases, close contacts and home isolation personnel should not go out as far as possible. If they must go out, see a doctor, etc., they should wear medical surgical masks.
In the case of last resort, healthy people can consider reusing masks if they meet the following prerequisites: the tightness and protection of the masks are intact; they are dry; they are used by special persons; reused masks are not recommended to be worn in hospitals It can be used when going to work, hanging out, shopping, shopping, etc.
Disposable disposable masks should not be littered. Fold the mouth and nose contact surfaces outwards (fold the mouth and nose contact surfaces of fever patients' masks inwards), tear off the ear hooks on one side and fold them twice before bundling. . After folding, put it in a clean ziplock bag or wrap it with a toilet paper towel, and then discard it into a trash bin classified as “Other Trash”. Masks used in medical institutions should be directly put into medical waste garbage bags before leaving.
Wash your hands immediately after handling the mask.
4 Million Masks are Coming to Shenzhen!
Shenzhen Nanbei Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. purchased 4 million masks from South Korea and Malaysia and plans to make them available by this weekend! Click the soure link below for a list (in Chinese) of their pharmacy locations throughout Shenzhen.
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