Coronavirus: Why Hong Kong has few deaths compared to other countries?

Hong Kong remains safe compared to other major cities of the world. Considering it’s close proximity  to the mainland China,  the city recorded 845 confirmed cases and only 4 deaths. Only until recent return of students from abroad brought the figures up.

A major cultural factor behind this is Hong Kong’s experience of the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, in which 299 people died.

According to Yahoo News UK, it meant members of the public and healthcare services remained on high alert for another infectious disease – and responded quickly when the COVID-19 outbreak began in China.

On the mainland, there have now been more than 82,000 confirmed cases and over 3,300 deaths.

Italy, meanwhile, has the highest death toll in the world, with more than 101,000 confirmed cases and over 11,000 deaths.

Despite this, the perception in Hong Kong is that its coronavirus figures are too high, with even more anger at a government already under fire amid last year’s protests about the region’s independence from China.

No lockdown in Hong Kong. People still go out to their workplace as usual. 

“Thank you for giving us this good comment that Hong Kong coronavirus cases and deaths are low,” Dr Pierre Chan, a leading medical doctor and lawmaker, told Yahoo News UK. “But in Hong Kong, we don’t think so. We don’t think we are doing good.”

He does, however, concede: “When compared with other countries, we are not bad.”

Dr Chan, a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, explains how Hong Kong has kept its cases and deaths relatively low – but warns dangers still lie ahead.

“When there is something wrong in China,” Dr Chan says, “Hong Kong is in danger. We are all scared.”

Wearing a mask in public is a signal that things are different, everyone should be conscious of extra-diligent hygiene, etc. plus i have seen so many people cough into their masks, and i realize this probably reduced exposure to people around them from aerosols in the air or droplets on their hands. my wife and i have a set of cloth masks… we each use one when we go out, wash it when we get home, and we have spare masks for use the next day.
-Comment by Martin

Therefore, at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the people of Hong Kong were ready to take matters into their own hands.

Dr Chan explains: “Because we had a very painful experience with SARS in 2003, most of our citizens are very alert about these things. Whenever there is something wrong, we prepare ourselves.Hong Kong’s healthcare system has been in a stronger position than other countries to react to COVID-19 this year, because of SARS epidemic that brought 299 deaths in the territory 17 years ago.

“With coronavirus testing, in Hong Kong there are almost no restrictions. This is very important. We still have some criteria but it is not difficult.

“We still have rooms for isolation facilities. Whenever a patient has a confirmed or highly suspected case of coronavirus, all of them will be accommodated in a proper isolation ward.

“Because of SARS, we have trained 100 doctors specialised in infectious diseases or clinical microbiology and infection. In 2020, we have specialists on board.”

I feel very safe here in Hong Kong , most people do wear masks, but its not forced , supermarkets are not besieged , pubs are still open , we came back from China a month ago and spent two weeks in home quarantine. Life goes on more or less as normal. Most people are responsible , we went for a boozy lunch after a hike a couple of weeks ago , we sat down at the table and everyone to my surprise took out hand sanitiser cleaned their hands, chopsticks etc…
My daughter works in trade finance for a bank, they work one day on, one day off
No panic here on Lantau Island

Source: Yahoo News UK