Seven things to know about what’s happening as the virus sweeps through Hong Kong
1) YOU WILL HATE THIS
As Covid sweeps through Hong Kong, workers have worked day and night to create temporary isolation centers at high speed – but they are NOT luxurious. They are basically container-sized boxes with three beds in each. Some have traditional Asian squat toilets. Penny’s Bay and the Asia-Expo facility are luxurious by comparison.
“I’m ordering this from Taobao,” a reader said today — see picture below.
2) LUXURY ISOLATION
To free up space in public hospitals, Li ka-shing is paying HK$50 million to move non-Covid patients to private hospitals – so some elderly welfare patients will likely up in private hospital suites with six-star cuisine.
3) SINOVAC WORKS
The latest data shows that Hong Kong’s vaccines, which include Chinese and Western ones, clearly work, with the vast majority of deaths (see graph) being unvaccinated people. And while a small number of infants sadly lost their lives, all but a handful of victims have been elderly.
4) ALREADY DOING IT
Hong Kong looks set to have its first lockdown, possibly for nine days. The proposal is less drastic than mainland Chinese or Western models, which saw people prevented from leaving their homes sometimes for months. Also, a huge drop in public transport services shows that a large proportion of Hong Kong people are already doing it.
The pandemic’s steep rate of growth in Hong Kong is worrying, although still less than the challenges faced by Singapore, probably our closest “sister” city. Given the rivalry between the two cities, this will be important for some. See chart:
6) DO NOT ‘DO A BORIS’
Doctors advise strongly against abandoning restrictions. Even if the virus doesn’t kill you, it can cause significant suffering and sometimes long-lasting damage to you or people around you.
7) HONG KONG UNIQUE
Hong Kong is unique in one way. Around the world, places have tended to follow the UK model, where Omicron’s replacement of Delta caused deaths to fall, or the US model, where Omicron’s arrival caused deaths to rise.
Hong Kong is different. The number of deaths rose, but only because the city was extraordinarily successful in preventing the spread of earlier strains.
Image at the top copyright Aluhouse