News Alerts

20 Feb 2020 | 04:49 AM UTC

Hong Kong: Health official announces second coronavirus-related fatality February 19 /update 10

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

A hospital spokeswoman confirmed the second coronavirus-related fatality in Hong Kong on February 19; further spread of the virus expected in the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/19/2020, 12:00 AM until 3/23/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Event

A hospital spokeswoman announced the second fatality related to coronavirus (COVID-19) in Hong Kong on Wednesday, February 19, according to local media outlets. The individual was an elderly man with underlying illnesses that had tested positive for the virus and hospitalized since Wednesday, February 12.

Authorities announced that 106 of 364 Hong Kong residents that were in quarantine on the Diamond Princess in Yokohama port (Japan) have returned to Hong Kong as of the morning (local time) on Thursday, February 20. All the returning individuals were transported directly to a quarantine facility in where they are expected to stay for at least 14 days.

Border authorities have closed most crossing points with China since Monday, February 3, to prevent further spread of the virus. This was followed by an announcement by local authorities on Wednesday, February 5, that all arrivals from mainland China will be put into home quarantine for 14 days. Schools are due to remain closed until at least Monday, March 16.

Hong Kong has 62 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of February 20. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

Widespread demonstrations across Hong Kong have been reported since February 4 in opposition to the administration's handling of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.

 

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