CHP provides latest information on pneumonia cases of novel coronavirus infection in Mainland and Korea and revises reporting criteria
According to the information from the NHC, from January 18 to 10pm yesterday (January 19), 136 additional pneumonia cases of the novel coronavirus infection in Wuhan were reported. The patients comprised 66 males and 70 females, aged 25 to 89, who developed symptoms before January 18 this year. Most presented with fever, cough or chest tightness, and shortness of breath. According to the newly revised treatment plan, patients' medical conditions are classified as either stable, serious or critical. Among the additional cases, 100 are in stable condition, 33 are in serious condition, and three are in critical condition, with one of them having died.
As of 10pm yesterday, the total number of novel coronavirus infections in Wuhan was 198 cases. Among them, 25 patients have been discharged, and three have died. Currently, 170 are still hospitalised. Among them, 126 patients are in stable condition, 35 are in serious condition and nine are in critical condition. A total of 817 close contacts have been identified. All have been put under medical surveillance, with 727 of them having completed the surveillance. No related cases have been detected so far.
Separately, according to the information from the NHC, a medical institution in the Daxing District of Beijing yesterday received two patients who had been to Wuhan. Both patients have presented with fever but with no respiratory symptoms at the moment. Upon testing and evaluation, both were confirmed pneumonia cases of the novel coronavirus infection. They are currently receiving treatment in isolation and are in stable condition. Medical surveillance against close contacts has been initiated, and no abnormalities such as fever have been detected among them so far.
The Health Commission of Guangdong Province also reported that the first imported pneumonia case of the novel coronavirus infection was confirmed yesterday. The patient is a 66-year-old man residing in Shenzhen, who travelled to Wuhan on December 29 last year and developed symptoms including fever and generalised weakness on January 3 this year. He sought medical attention in Shenzhen on January 4 and was transferred to receive treatment in isolation on January 11. Upon laboratory testing, he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The Guangdong Province has commenced relevant contact tracing against close contacts.
In addition, the CHP has been closely monitoring the first confirmed case of infection of the novel coronavirus in Korea. According to the information from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the case involved a 35-year-old female, who came from Wuhan, Hubei Province. She arrived in Korea on January 19 and was detected to be having a fever. She subsequently tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon laboratory testing.
In view of the latest situation and risk assessment, the CHP will enhance surveillance of suspected cases and revise the reporting criteria of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent. Details are as follows:
Medical practitioners are requested to make a report to the CHP for further investigation if they encounter an individual with fever and acute respiratory illness, or pneumonia, and who had experienced one of the following within 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms: (a) visited Hubei Province (regardless of whether the individual had visited wet markets or seafood markets there); or (b) visited a medical hospital in the Mainland; or (c) had close contact with a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus while that patient was symptomatic.
After reviewing the latest situation, the DH would impose a health declaration form system on inbound travellers by air from Wuhan under the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap 599A) starting from midnight tomorrow (January 21). These travellers will be required to complete and submit a health declaration form. If they are found to have fulfilled the reporting criteria of identifying Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent, they will be compulsorily referred to public hospitals for isolation, treatment and follow-up.
A spokesman for the CHP said, "The CHP will issue letters to doctors and private hospitals to inform them of the revised reporting criteria. The CHP will continue to maintain its liaison with the NHC, the World Health Organization and overseas health authorities, and closely monitor the situation for risk assessment."
The spokesman reminded the public to avoid close contact with persons with fever or respiratory symptoms in countries/areas with possible transmission of the novel coronavirus infection. If it is unavoidable to come into contact with them, put on a surgical mask and continue to do so until 14 days after returning to Hong Kong.
A dedicated webpage (www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/102465.html) has been set up by the CHP to provide relevant information and health advice on Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent. Information on the affected countries/areas is available from the following webpage: www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/statistics_of_the_cases_novel_coronavirus_infection.pdf.
To prevent pneumonia and respiratory tract infection, members of the public should always maintain good personal and environmental hygiene. They are advised to:
• Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the
mouth, nose or eyes; after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs; or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
• Maintain drainage pipes properly and regularly (about once a week) pour about half a liter of water into each drain outlet (U-traps) to ensure environmental hygiene;
• Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with water and dry with a disposable paper towel. If hand washing facilities are not available, or when hands are not visibly soiled, performing hand hygiene with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub is an effective alternative;
• Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of soiled tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly; and
• When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, refrain from work or attending class at school, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly.
The public should take heed of the health advice below when travelling outside Hong Kong:
• Avoid close contact with persons with fever or respiratory symptoms in countries/areas with possible transmission of the novel coronavirus infection. If it is unavoidable to come into contact with them, put on a surgical mask and continue to do so until 14 days after returning to Hong Kong;
• Avoid visiting hospitals. If it is necessary to visit a hospital, put on a surgical mask and observe strict personal and hand hygiene;
• Avoid touching animals (including game), poultry/birds or their droppings;
• Avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms;
• Avoid making close contact with patients, especially those with symptoms of acute respiratory infections;
• Do not consume game meat and do not patronise food premises where game meat is served;
• Adhere to food safety and hygiene rules such as avoiding consuming raw or undercooked animal products, including milk, eggs and meat, or foods which may be contaminated by animal secretions, excretions (such as urine) or contaminated products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled;
• If feeling unwell when outside Hong Kong, especially if experiencing a fever or cough, wear a surgical mask, inform the hotel staff or tour escort and seek medical advice at once; and
• After returning to Hong Kong, consult a doctor promptly if experiencing a fever or other symptoms, take the initiative to inform the doctor of any recent travel history and any exposure to animals, and wear a surgical mask to help prevent spread of the disease.
Ends/Monday, January 20, 2020
Issued at HKT 18:42
Issued at HKT 18:42