That was largely because of motion taken early on, whereas circumstances had been spreading throughout mainland China, to implement measures that at the moment are acquainted all through the world: virus mapping, social distancing, intensive hand-washing, and carrying masks and different protecting clothes.
Hong Kong was proof that these measures labored, with town of seven.5 million solely reporting some 150 circumstances in the beginning of March, even because the variety of infections spiked in different East Asian territories like South Korea and Japan, and unfold quickly throughout Europe and North America.
On Monday, Hong Kong Chief Govt Carrie Lam introduced that every one non-residents can be barred from the territory as of Wednesday, the newest addition to a raft of latest measures.
This can be a sample enjoying out throughout elements of Asia — mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan — that had been among the many first to deal with the outbreak. All at the moment are introducing new restrictions as a sudden wave of renewed circumstances begins to crest.
In comparison with main cities within the West, like London or New York, residents in Hong Kong can typically really feel as in the event that they’re dwelling sooner or later. Most of the measures enacted within the Asian metropolis again in February at the moment are being rolled out in European and American cities.
However this newest lesson could also be a bitter capsule to swallow, because it signifies that quarantines and social distancing should proceed nicely past the preliminary wave of circumstances, if one other spherical of infections is to be averted.
For these simply going into lockdown, that might imply they’re in for the lengthy haul.
Waves of an infection
It was pure subsequently that individuals started to loosen up considerably, not solely going to work as a substitute of staying dwelling, but in addition having dinner collectively, going to the park, and attending weddings and different massive social gatherings. Whereas face masks had been nonetheless frequent, some folks could possibly be noticed going uncovered, significantly for brief journeys, and there was a normal sense of slowly getting again to regular.
All non-residents shall be barred from the territory as of Wednesday. The town’s worldwide airport may even now not enable vacationers to transit by way of Hong Kong. Anybody arriving within the metropolis should endure testing, no matter their origin. Many bars and eating places may even be closed, with preliminary restrictions targeted on these serving alcohol.
No time to loosen up
Talking Saturday, Lam mentioned that thus far town has “successfully and safely sailed by way of two waves of epidemic.”
“The primary wave was the concerns of transmissions from mainland (China), so now we have put in a whole lot of measures,” she mentioned. “The second wave was the native transmissions, with these clusters arising from dinners and different issues. Now we face the third wave.”
Lam mentioned that it was “solely pure” that because the variety of new circumstances subsides, folks begin “to loosen up a bit,” and that is what occurred in the direction of the beginning of March. However she mentioned that “in gentle of the altering circumstances and this most troublesome and difficult wave arising from a surge within the world state of affairs and the massive variety of returnees, then now we have to regulate.”
Within the Chinese language capital Beijing, all worldwide flights at the moment are being diverted to different cities in China, because the variety of imported circumstances continues to rise.
Asia is weeks, if not months, forward of the West in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. International locations throughout Europe and North America had been gradual to study from those that had already been by way of it, leaving themselves weak to the quickly worsening well being crises they’re experiencing now.