Virologist predicts long-drawn coronavirus tussle

Friday, July 10, 2020

A prominent virologist said today that the government must be 'vigorous' to try to contain a local outbreak of the new coronavirus as fast as possible - and warned that it would be a long time before things returned to normal, RTHK reports.
On Thursday, the government announced it would tighten recently-eased social distancing measures in light of a surge in locally-transmitted cases of Covid-19, as it confirmed 34 more local infections, along with eight imported ones.
Twenty-three of the latest patients are linked to an outbreak at an elderly care home at Tsz Wan Shan. Nine local cases are linked to previously confirmed patients, and three are taxi drivers.
Authorities have been unable to trace the source of two local infections.
Malik Peiris, a Sri Lankan virologist at the University of Hong Kong says the resurgence of local cases is extremely worrying, especially as there are a number of different clusters, including one involving taxi drivers - where tracing passengers is challenging.
Peiris told RTHK that people in taxis should keep the windows open to allow for better ventilation, and warned that socializing without a face mask was a great risk.
'We should be as vigorous as possible to contain this as fast as possible because the sooner we get the case numbers down we can again think about getting back a bit closer to normal again," Peiris said.
However, he emphasized that it would be a long time before things returned to normal because as long as the virus survived anywhere in the world "everywhere in the world is threatened".