Second wave of coronavirus feared for Asia

Hubei

As the coronavirus infections continue to increase in Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, inflicting misery on hundreds of millions of people, a second wave of COVID-19 is feared to be hitting China, where the coronavirus originated, Hong Kong and Singapore.

On the day China recorded no new domestic infections from coronavirus COVID-19 for the first time since late December last year, it recorded 34 new infections, all from overseas – a record high.

For the past five days, China has reported more imported cases of coronavirus than local infections.

In distressing news Dr Carrie Tam, an assistant professor from National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said: “The prevailing view is that it’s unlikely the transmission can be reduced to a level where the virus will not become entrenched in the human population, as was done with Sars.”

The number of new deaths attributed to coronavirus was down to single figures in China, with just eight reported, bringing the total death toll to 3,245. The total number of infections now standing at 80,928. A total of 70,420 patients have recovered.

Hong Kong saw 25 new cases on Wednesday, the highest single-day increase, with most of them coming from outside the special administrative region.

Singapore also reported 47 new cases, of which 33 were imported with 30 of them returned Singapore residents.

A week ago China announced all arrivals to the capital must self-isolate at home or in a designated hotel or hostel for 14 days. The rules have been tightened to remove the option of staying at home, and requiring quarantined arrivals to pay their accommodation costs.

COVID-19, coronavirus

In Hong Kong, from Thursday, all arrivals must undergo a 14-day self-isolation at home followed by two weeks of medical surveillance. Similar measures have been announced by Macau’s authorities.

“If we do not impose tougher measures at this stage, our previous efforts to prevent the disease from spreading throughout these two months could be completely wasted,” Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, South China Morning Post reported.

Australia and New Zealand are the latest countries to ban all non-residents from their countries.

Nearly 220,000 people have now been confirmed with the coronavirus globally, and while at least 84,000 people have recovered from COVID-19, more than 8,800 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Italy, the country most affected by the coronavirus outside China, reported another 475 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, as Europe shut down cities and imposed strict border controls. The US and Canada have closed their border to all but essential travel.

Nearly 220,000 people have now been confirmed with the coronavirus globally, and while at least 84,000 people have recovered from COVID-19, more than 8,800 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

COVID-19, coronavirus

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