Coronavirus (COVID-19): Your Daily Update

Updated as of September 18 at 4pm

There is currently an explosion of information, comments and opinions on COVID-19 on the internet and social media. We believe that on serious topics in general, and on public health matters in particular, it is essential that you rely on facts and seek credible, expert information. Our mission at AD MediLink remains to bring you the best possible information and advice, so you can make the best choices for you and your family. 

 


In Hong Kong, the 3rd wave continues to slow down. On Friday, there were 3 new cases.

Globally, COVID-19 infections are over 30 million and have caused 900,000 deaths. The USA have over 6 million cases, India almost 5 million and COVID-19 continues to spread fast in South America (5 countries in the top 10).

Our team keeps you posted daily, with all the key facts you need.

 

COVID-19’s third wave in Hong Kong (most recent day first)

Friday: 3 cases (2 local, 1 imported).
Thursday: 9 cases
(6 local, 3 imported).
Wednesday: 9 cases
(5 local, 4 imported).
Tuesday: 4 cases (all imported).
Monday: 14 cases 
(12 local, 2 imported).
Sunday: 19 cases (11 local, 8 imported).
Saturday: 13 cases
(9 local, 4 imported).
Friday: 12 cases
(3 local, 9 imported).

Total number of confirmed cases in Hong Kong: 4,996.

Number of deaths: 102.

 

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Latest global COVID-19 update (as of September 18)

Total number of cases (worldwide): 30,183,223.

Number of deaths: 946,158.

Number of people who have recovered: 20,532,559. 

Top 20 countries with the most cases (source Johns Hopkins):

1. USA: 6,675,560.

2. India: 5,214,677.

3. Brazil: 4,455,386.

4. Russia: 1,081,152.

5. Peru: 744,400.

6. Colombia: 743,945. 

7. Mexico: 684,113.

8. South Africa: 655,572.

9. Spain: 625,651.

10. Argentina: 601,713.

11. France: 454,266. 

12. Chile: 441,150.

13. Iran: 413,150.

14. UK: 384,087.

15. Bangladesh: 344,264.

16. Saudi Arabia: 328,144.

17. Iraq: 307,385.

18. Pakistan: 304,386.

19. Turkey: 298,039.

20. Italy: 293,025.


 

DISCOVER OUR TOP READS

1. Where to get tested in Hong Kong: options and costs (also available in Chinese)

2. Quarantine hotels in Hong Kong

3. Is it safe to travel during this pandemic?

4. Travelling (back) to Hong Kong: step-by-step guide


 

Latest global news about COVID-19

– Worldwide coronavirus cases have surpassed 30 million. The US, India and Brazil together account for more than 50% of the world’s Covid-19 cases.

South Africa eases strict lockdown as cases drop.

Canada’s new positive Covid-19 cases double in less than a month.

India’s coronavirus infections top five million mark.

–  Israel imposed a 3-week national lockdown starting from September 18.

UAE reported over over 1,000 daily cases, the highest since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

 

Latest measures taken in Hong Kong

Since September 18, social distancing rules have been eased. Restaurants serve dine in customers from 5am to 12pm daily with no more than 4 persons per table. Bars may reopen subject to capacity restrictions until 12pm. All sports premises both indoor and outdoor are open. Swimming pools are open but all beaches remain closed. No more than 4 people can gather at any one time and no change in the rules for the wearing of masks have been made.

Hong Kong schools will resume face-to-face classes in two phases on a half-day basis from September 23.

– On August 13, the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) confirmed on Thursday that air passengers would be allowed to transit via Hong Kong International Airport from mainland China from August 15 until October 15.

– On Wednesday July 22, it was announced that the US and Kazakhstan join the list of high-risk countries (which already included Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, South Africa, Philippines and Indonesia). All Hong Kong residents returning from the US and Kazakhstan will therefore be required to quarantine in hotels rather than at home, and present proof they are free from COVID-19, as of July 29.

– On Sunday July 19, Carrie Lam held a press conference during which she announced the following: 2,000 more quarantine units will be built near Hong Kong Disneyland, AsiaWorld-Expo will be converted to host non-serious COVID-19 patients and elderly in case of new outbreaks at care homes, most of the city’s 180,000 civil servants will work from home for a week, all Hong Kongers must now wear masks in indoor public places (not just in public transport).

– Hospitals have set up infection control and special visiting arrangement in non-acute hospitals.

– The airport is shut to foreigners indefinitely.

– Closing of border points with China: Carrie Lam had announced on February 3 that only two land boundary control points will handle passengers: Shenzhen Bay and HK-Zuhai-Macao Bridge. The Lo Wu, Lok Ma Chau and Macao Ferry Terminal control points have remained closed. Kai Tak Cruise Terminal operates as normal. This means that out of 14 boundary control points between HK and mainland China, 10 are closed and only 4 remain open.

 

Reminder: what is COVID-19?

A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. This large family of viruses causes several well-known mild to moderate respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Coronaviruses spread through coughing, sneezing, or touching an infected person.

While most coronaviruses are not dangerous and most people actually get a coronavirus infection at least once in their life, most likely as a young child, with mild symptoms. In some rarer instances, people have been infected by a more serious type of coronavirus, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Indeed, SARS was transmitted from civet cats to humans, and MERS from dromedary camels to humans, as reminded by World Health Organization (WHO).

A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has NOT been previously identified in humans. The new coronavirus was first named “2019-nCoV”. On February 11, WHO renamed it COVID-19.

 

Where does COVID-19 come from?

On 31 December 2019, China alerted the WHO of several cases of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan. Wuhan has 11 million people and is located in the central Hubei Province, which itself has 60 million people. Several of those infected by the virus worked at or visited a a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak. Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market was shut on January 1.

On January 5, Chinese officials and experts ruled out the possibility that this was a recurrence of the SARS. Tests showed that cases were due to a new coronavirus, which was named “2019-nCoV.” (it has since been renamed COVID-19 by WHO).

On January 11, China announced its first death: a 61-year-old man who had visited the seafood market. He was admitted to hospital and died on the evening of January 9 when his heart failed.

Since then, the COVID-19 has spread around the world.

 

If you are looking for a doctor or hospital in Hong Kong, note that new guidelines are in place. Learn all about it here.

 

What are the symptoms?

For confirmed COVID-19 infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with mild symptoms to to people being severely ill and dying. As reported by CDC, symptoms can include:

– Fever

– Cough

– Difficulty breathing

– Pneumonia as shown on chest X-ray

People of older age and/or with existing health issues are deemed at higher risk of developing severe symptoms from the new coronavirus.

 

Read our Exclusive Interview with SARS Veteran, Dr. Sarah Borwein.

 

Recommendations to follow to stay safe

The Center for Health Protection in Hong Kong as well as the WHO and the CDC in the US have published advice for the general public. These are generally consistent with health recommendations to contain common viruses, such as influenza.

Recommendations include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices.

– Frequently clean your hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

– Wash hands with liquid soap, water and rub for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a disposable paper towel.

– If water and soap is not available, use 70 to 80% alcohol-based hand-rub.

– Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

– When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue immediately and wash hands.

– Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.

– If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

 

When to seek medical help?

You must wear a surgical mask and seek medical advice immediately if you:

– have any respiratory symptoms,

– have fever and especially

– if you have been travelling.

 

Even if you are unsure about whether you are sick and what it may be, you must see a doctor. In the current context and while we should avoid unnecessary anxiety, it’s best to be safe!

 

Health insurance is confusing

 

 

Looking for health insurance? For expert advicecontact AD MediLink now at hello@admedilink.hk or +852 2606 2668 to receive a free quote. An advisor uniquely trained on the Hong Kong healthcare system will be in touch to answer all your questions about health insurance and healthcare.

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This article was independently written by AD MediLink and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should never be relied upon for specific advice.