People urged to avoid Wuhan trips

Local | 21 Jan 2020 1:05 pm

Top microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung said today that Hong Kong people should avoid going to Wuhan unless absolutely necessary, as the Hubei capital battles an outbreak of a deadly new coronavirus which is similar to SARS, RTHK reports.

The infectious disease professor from the University of Hong Kong was speaking after returning from Wuhan where he had been to learn more about outbreak as part of an expert panel advising the mainland's National Health Commission.

Yuen said his top concern for Hong Kong was overcrowdedness in public hospitals.

With bed occupancy rates often standing above 100 percent during flu seasons, he said overcrowding would be a major problem if there was a confirmed case of the new virus in Hong Kong.

But he stressed that Hong Kong's defenses have been strong so far, with the SAR and the mainland having significantly improved in their preventative measures and disease control work in the past decade or so.

Yuen said some patients in Wuhan, who were not obviously sick, were confirmed to have the new virus after they were tested because family members were showing symptoms. He said one such cases was in Shenzhen. Photo: Sing Tao.

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