Coronavirus update: HK jumps

Guangdong added 14 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, all imported from overseas. Five were reported in Guangzhou, five in Shenzhen, two in Foshan, and one each in Zhuhai and Jieyang. Four more patients were released from hospital, leaving the number under treatment at 62, according to the Guangdong Health Commission.

Hong Kong had a day with record new infections of 48, refreshing the record daily tally of 25 on Wednesday. This takes the city’s total of confirmed cases to 256. Three were released from hospital, bringing the total discharges to 98, while 312 remain under observation, according to the Centre for Health Protection.

The death toll in the GBA remained at 12.

The rest of the country reported 25 new cases yesterday, all of which were imported, taking the total imported cases to 228. Hubei has stopped adding new cases for a second day, while announcing two new deaths, according to the Hubei Health Commission.

Of China’s total 80,967 confirmed cases, around 88% have left hospital, with 730 discharged yesterday alone, according to the National Health Commission.

Related news:

1. Gabriel Leung, dean of HKU’s medical faculty, says Hong Kong is at its highest risk of a coronavirus outbreak due to the wave of returning residents from overseas, and he is urging Hongkongers not to let down their guard. Ho Pak-leung, also of HKU, says he expects 200 imported cases in the coming weeks. SCMP.

2. Hong Kong’s government admitted today that only a third of tracking bracelets given out to quarantined new arrivals were working, raising concerns over the effectiveness of home-quarantine policy. SCMP.

3. AmCham South China has put together a good guide for foreigners about quarantine measures and procedures for anyone coming into Guangdong from overseas. AMSC.

4. Guangzhou has clarified that any returning students from overseas will be quarantined at a “central location” at their own expense. This is in force since Tuesday, March 17. SCN

5. Dongguan has set aside the comfortable West Lake Hotel in Nancheng Street for foreigners who need to be quarantined for observation. As of March 17, there were 67 guests there, including Korean, Japanese, Italian, American, and German nationals. None have yet been confirmed with the coronavirus. SCN

6. A series of studies of the coronavirus suggest it is infectious for longer periods than pathogens from the same family, such as Sars, presenting added challenges for containing it. Researchers found that on average, people with SARS-CoV-2 can expel or “shed” virus particles from their bodies for a relatively long period of 20 days, spreading it even before symptoms appear. SCMP.

7. The HIV drug approved by Chinese regulators to treat COVID-19 – AbbVie Inc.’s Kaletra – has little effect on curing the patients infected with the disease, since it leads to a similar death rate as those receiving standard care, according to a peer-reviewed research published by a Chinese research team in the New England Journal of Medicine. Caixin.

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