Anti-virus moves are a surprising success

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 2 Mar 2020

Don't you just love a good miracle? Mr L, a reader quarantined in Zhejiang province, called me yesterday to report that he has managed to get himself back to Hong Kong and is in perfect health.

Two weeks ago, we wrote that this Hongkonger was trapped in a virus-struck province which was one of the worst-hit places in China outside Hubei.

But here's the miracle.

Everyone expected mass deaths in Zhejiang. "The response by the authorities was so successful that only one person died," Mr L said.

Fact: China's obesity stats indicate that it is highly likely that more people died from eating Big Macs in Zhejiang than were killed by the virus.

* * *

Got fever? Get cash!

Officials offered money to the public in a creative scheme that instantly stopped fever-sufferers from hiding away.

In Qianjiang city, near Wuhan, people with high temperatures got Y10,000 (about HK$11,150) if doctors gave them a diagnosis of "confirmed," Y2,000 for "suspected" and Y1,000 for "possible".

* * *

No wonder top WHO official Bruce Aylward praised the creativity of the Chinese fight against the virus. "If I had Covid-19, I'd want to be treated in China," he said at a press conference.

* * *

A Hong Kong musician wrote a set of children's songs nine years ago - and suddenly found herself a star all over again this month.

In Hong Kong in 2011, musician Kim Lytton wrote hygiene-themed songs for children with titles like: "Here Comes a Sneeze."

She moved back to her home in the United States and had forgotten about them until recently. Children's welfare agencies in China realized that her songs were just what the country needed, so Kim rapidly re-recorded them in Mandarin and now they're getting huge numbers of hits on Youku, China's copy of YouTube.

* * *

All roads should have signs [like the pictured one] which do nothing except make you think.

* * *

Aieeyah. The world's most ill-treated traffic lights were wrecked again this weekend. Murderous, bomb-throwing criminals [or "noble pro-democracy campaigners" if you work for the New York Times] wrecked the Mong Kok lights for at least the 75th time [not a joke] on Saturday before a group of them wandered off at midnight to vandalize a medical clinic in Kwai Chung.

Hong Kong bombers: Worst Advertisement For Democracy Ever.

* * *

No, your pet doesn't have the virus - so don't abandon him or her, says Sally Andersen of Hong Kong Dog Rescue.

Despite puzzling evidence from one or two animals, government health experts said it was extremely unlikely that pets would transmit the virus.

They will ONLY quarantine animals owned by Hongkongers [fewer than 100 out of 7.5 million] confirmed with Covid-19. Otherwise, even self-quarantined folks should continue to enjoy their pet's company.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's king of fashion Barney Cheng checked into the swanky Rosewood Residence in Tsim Sha Tsui with his Maltese dog Dino - and found it filled with framed "family photos" of the pair of them.

"Nice touch," Barney said.

Now that's how dogs should be treated.

* * *

Hong Kong construction workers built a complex of 118 housing units in just 24 days. It's not quite as spectacular as Wuhan's 10-day hospital, but Hong Kong's just-completed Lei Yue Mun quarantine center is pretty impressive.

The Great Wall of China took 2,000 years to build, from 400 BC to 1600 AD.

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