Coronavirus update: Lingering

Guangdong added two new COVID-19 cases yesterday, one was imported, the other was a related case in Guangzhou, while 4 new asymptomatic cases were reported, all were in Guangzhou. Seven cases were discharged. Among the 58 cases still in hospital (29 imported), 11 were light, 43 normal, 4 severe. (Data: Guangdong Health Commission)

Hong Kong reported two new cases, bringing the city’s tally to 1,036. Seventeen patients were discharged in the past 24 hours, with 331 still in hospital. Here is a Covid-19 tracker, which lists all currently hospitalized cases, with travel history.

Across the rest of the country, 6 new imported cases were reported, according to the National Health Commission. There were 4 local cases, 3 of which were in Heilongjiang, and one in Guangdong. Asymptomatic cases further dropped to 984, as 31 were released from monitoring and three new cases were reported.

Related news:

  1. Two Hong Kong medical experts believe the city could relax some of its social-distancing measures by early next month, because the transmission of Covid-19 has weakened with most local cases now traceable. “Overall, the transmission within the community is slowing down, and we see the silver lining for cutting off local transmission,” said Dr Ho Pak-leung, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong. “If we can keep up with the momentum, some of the social-distancing measures could be lifted after May 7.” Dr David Hui Shu-cheong, agreed, saying the city was doing well in containing another community outbreak. SCMP.
  2. China should avoid any stop-start reopening of schools and colleges and be vigilant as the coronavirus epidemic eases, leading epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan has said. “China has already tamed the effective reproduction number [of the virus] to 0.2 or 0.3 – that’s very low and unlikely to cause a massive outbreak,” Zhong said. “But it’s impossible to expect that China will have no infections, and I staunchly support [the idea] that we should move on.” SCMP.
  3. With 1.87 million children returning to schools across Guangdong next week, the provincial capital has decided to take an extra precautionary step and send in a “vice principal of health” to each of its 500-plus schools. These healthcare professionals will ensure all schools are well-briefed on preventative measures and will monitor results. DY.
  4. Organisers of a major Labour Day protest in Hong Kong have vowed to press ahead with their march in defiance of a police warning to cancel it because of the coronavirus epidemic. Bosses at the Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU) insisted the May 1 demonstration could go ahead without breaking the social-distancing laws in place to stop Covid-19’s spread as they called the force’s ban threat “absurd”. SCMP.
  5. Attempts by authorities around the world to “flatten the curve” could be the worst way to fight the coronavirus pandemic, according to new projections by an international team of researchers. The approach, which has been adopted by many countries in the hope that warmer weather and a future vaccine will help rein in the virus, could destroy economies while having little effect on cutting infections, the researchers led by Peking University Professor Liu Yu said. “The turning point will never come, the peak value of case numbers will remain the same as if there are no such measures,” the team, which included scientists from Harvard University in the United States, said in a non-peer-reviewed paper released on preprint platform arXiv.org last week. “We strongly suggest they reconsider [the approach].” SCMP.

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