That’s the headline on my newest story, out Tuesday, which I wrote with my colleague Feliz Solomon. It begins:
Hong Kong and Singapore reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus in January. Four months later, the densely packed Asian metropolises, with a combined population of about 13 million, have seen 27 fatalities between them.
Just 0.4% of those with confirmed infections have died in Hong Kong. In Singapore—less than 0.1%. If the U.S. had a similar fatality rate as the average of the two, its death toll would now stand at about 4,100, rather than 98,000 and growing.
“When you overwhelm health systems a lot more people die,” said David Owens, founder of Hong Kong medical practice OT&P Healthcare, who has treated patients for Covid-19. Hong Kong and Singapore “didn’t let the epidemic run wild.”
The cities’ fatality rates—among the lowest in the world—show that coronavirus outbreaks don’t have to result in large-scale loss of life. Their playbook: test widely, quarantine aggressively and treat patients early to avoid fatal complications and overburdened health systems.
Something about this scene just struck me. I love the colors and straight lines of the buildings behind the green of the trees — and the streetlight gleaming as the evening was beginning. 💯
That’s the headline on a story I wrote with my colleague Joyu Wang yesterday. It begins:
HONG KONG–After 23 days without a locally transmitted coronavirus case and with much of the city returning to normal life, health officials here are investigating how a 66-year-old woman and her granddaughter tested positive.
The test results, announced Wednesday, illustrate the continuing challenges for authorities world-wide in eliminating the disease even in places that were successful with containment earlier on.
Seven close contacts of the woman have shown symptoms and have been sent to the hospital for testing, officials said Wednesday. The woman has no recent history of travel and hasn’t had contact with known carriers of the disease, officials said. They added that they plan to test residents of their apartment buildings.
The positive results drew a collective sigh from Hong Kongers who have been slowly resuming their normal life routines. Some government health advisers have set a mark of 28 days—or two quarantine periods without a local infection—as a key milestone toward victory over the coronavirus. The two new infections bring the total recorded in the city of about 7.5 million residents to 1,051, with four deaths—which is still relatively low.
Click through to read the rest.