As I mentioned in my last blog, although Hong Kong has only confirmed 38 coronavirus cases, the assumption is local transmission is occurring, and there are a more unidentified cases in the community.
While Hong Kong has already taken substantial steps to reduce opportunities for the public to spread the novel coronavirus, today the Director of the Food and Health Bureau - Chen Zhaoshi - urged even greater social distancing, calling the next two weeks a `critical time' to fight the virus.First her statement, then a brief postscript.
February 10, 2020
In response to the outbreak of the new coronavirus infection, the Director of the Food and Health Bureau, Chen Zhaoshi, urged the public to maintain a suitable social distance, and strongly advised the operators of cinemas, karaoke and other places to consider suspending operations for two weeks to reduce the risk of community transmission.
At a briefing on the latest situation of the epidemic, Chen Zhaoshi said that in addition to reducing cross-border flow of people, the government has also introduced measures including suspension of classes, arrangements for civil servants to work from home, and suspension of some public services and cancellation of some social activities to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
She urged the public to co-operate with the relevant policies, such as not necessary to go out, should stay at home, if you need to go out, should avoid crowded places, but also pay attention to personal hygiene, wear ingress sons and masks when necessary. Enterprises should also be flexible in dealing with staff work arrangements.
Chen Zhaoshi pointed out that the next two weeks is a critical time to fight the epidemic, the public should further reduce social activities, strongly advised theatres, karaoke, cram schools, interest groups, clubs and other places gathered to suspend business, to minimize the risk of transmission of viruses.
Although we are likely weeks (perhaps even months) behind Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macao in having to deal with the the novel coronavirus, it isn't too soon to be thinking about the things you will either want or need, if you and your family find yourself sitting at home and avoiding crowds.
Now - when store shelves are full and prices are low - is the time to stock up on items you will need for a pandemic. . . or any other disaster.And this isn't just me saying it. This is the standing advice from Ready.gov.
Before a Pandemic
During a Pandemic
- Store a two week supply of water and food.
- Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
- Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
- Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
- Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
If you prepare now, in a sensible and orderly way, it isn't hoarding, and it allows time for stores to refill their shelves. If you wait until the last minute, you are only adding to the chaos.
Preparing now is both the sensible and the responsible thing to do.