會長通訊:武漢新型冠狀病毒肺炎 | President's message:WARS

HKDU⠀ Published at 2020-02-15

武漢新型冠狀病毒肺炎

 

On 31st January 2020, breathing fresh air in San Francisco and I wish all of you can breath fresh air in Hong Kong soon. 2020年1月31日,在呼吸三藩市新鮮的空氣,祝願大家早日呼吸到香港的新鮮空氣。

 

 

Yum Cha at Millbrae HL Peninsula with my son-in-law on the first day of Chinese Lunar new year 年初一與女婿在三藩市半島酒家飲茶

 

 

我在農曆新年前夕於由香港前往三藩市的航班CX872上寫下這篇會長通訊。這是長達12小時的直飛航班。機艙內有來自不同種族的人,包括中國大陸。然而,面對來自武漢的致命急性呼吸道綜合症,在整個飛行過程中,只有十分之一的乘客戴著口罩。我和妻子除了進餐時一直戴著N100口罩。

與2003年SARS時期(當時我飛往康乃爾大學探望我的女兒)相比,整個飛行過程中,包括整個機組人員在內的所有人都戴著口罩。在那次空中旅行中,乘客不得不在東京,三藩市,芝加哥轉機,最終到達雪城,其目的是將空中旅行分為短途飛行以減少交叉感染的機會。但是,現在沒有這種做法。人們不戴口罩的原因之一是市場上沒有足夠的口罩。我確實認為,人們從上次痛苦的經歷中學到了東西,並且更加謹慎。

這是我第二次在春節假期期間到訪美國,這也是我們第二次在春節假期期間遇到中國大陸的SARS。真是巧合!我真希望我沒有計劃這次行程,從而令到這次疫症沒有發生,我可以幫助嗎?只有天知道。我能做到的就是,在將來的農曆新年假期中,我不會到美國。

到目前為止的武漢新型冠狀病毒肺炎的演變來看,這次對香港的破壞絕不可低估。我們應該比17年前的SARS更要保持高度警覺。這個說法得到了微生物學家的支持,他們預測,武漢新型冠狀病毒肺炎的破壞力是SARS的十倍以上。 據報導,有一些無症狀的病例可能具有高度傳染性,而那些旅客過境到香港時不誠實地填寫健康聲明,這將是該疫情早期於社區內傳播的原因。因此,在與同業討論之後,在我離開香港的前兩天(2020年1月22日)我已要求食物及衞生局局長關閉與中國大陸的邊界,禁止來自中國大陸的旅客入境香港及禁止市民前往中國大陸。 直到2-3天後,政府才禁止湖北的中國大陸旅客入境。而政府在2020年1月28日的新聞發布會上卒之宣布了進一步的措施,以進一步控制跨中國大陸邊界的人員流動,但仍然不夠全面和安全。

上次,醫護人員抗擊非典型肺炎的專業精神難能可貴,我希望這次抗疫亦能夠保持這種精神。就個人防護裝備而言,我們會盡我們的能力為會員採購那些個人防護裝備。在瑪嘉烈醫院2020年1月份的周日下午研討會上,我們已經以成本價向會員提供了九十五盒口罩。我們非常樂於根據會員的需求採購更多的個人防護裝備。我們深切關注各會員在儲備足夠防護裝備的需要。

我們現在向會員們建議的抗擊武漢新型冠狀病毒肺炎的措施與2003年的措施類似。因此,我想引用2003年5月西醫工會會訊上的會長通訊為”誰的過錯(II)”的一部分,以下供您們參考:

“向特區政府建議的措施包括人多地方必須戴口罩,嚴厲隔離緊密接觸者,學校停課兩星期及邊境檢疫。”…“我們的建議包括強制戴口罩,防疫隔離及隔離緊密接觸者和照顧SARS病人的醫護人員,禁制中港邊境的旅行或探親者,海關實施監察及隔離,公佈SARS患病者居住地區及私家醫生名字(自願性質)。”…“既然公立醫院存在呼吸機及支援醫護人員不足的危機,這刻最重要的是防範SARS再度蔓延,私家醫生會員的最重要工作是教育全港市民過健康生活及做足預防措施,希望減低染病機會,又或不幸病了也不致太嚴重。我們很希望到了六月天氣轉熱後,病毒傳播的力量因而減弱。我們希望因各位的不懈努力,全港市民很快再一次能不用戴口罩呼吸到新鮮的空氣。”

我希望我們這次可以在6月前撃敗武漢新型冠狀病毒肺炎。希望我們的科學家很快可研發成功武漢新型冠狀病毒肺炎的疫苗,我希望我的夢想能盡快實現。目前,各位請參照本會在2009年出版的抗擊新傳染病指引中的PDF, 3R好好保護自己。上帝保佑。

 

楊超發醫生

 


 

WARS

 

I write this message on the plane, CX 872, from Hong Kong to San Francisco on the Chinese New Year eve. This is a 12 hour direct and a full house flight. Inside the cabin, there are people from different countries, including mainland China. However, in face of emerging deadly Acute Respiratory Syndrome from Wuhan, there is only one tenth of passengers wearing masks all along the air trip. My wife and I wore N100 all the way except during meals.

In contrast to 2003 in the SARS period when I flew over to Cornell University to visit my daughter, everybody including the whole of the air crew worn masks all along the flight. During that air trip, passengers had to change plane in Tokyo, San Francisco, Chicago finally reaching Syracuse, the intention was to split the air trip into shorter flights to decrease the chance of cross infection. But this is not practised nowadays. One reason for people not wearing masks is there is not enough in the market. I do envisage, people have learned from bitter experience last time and are more cautious.

This is the second time I visit United States during the Chinese New Year holidays and this is the second time we encountered SARS from mainland China during the Chinese New Year holidays too. What a coincidence! I do wish that I can help by not booking the trip this time, can I help? Only God knows. What I can do is I would not visit United States in future Chinese New Year holidays.

From the evolution of the WARS so far, damage to Hong Kong cannot be underestimated this time. We should be on high alert much more than SARS 17 years ago. This view is supported by microbiologists who predicted that the destruction power of WARS is much more than ten times that of SARS. As reported, there are asymptomatic cases who can be highly infectious and this will be the cause of early community spread in Hong Kong when people do not honestly make health declaration when crossing border to Hong Kong. As such, after discussion with colleagues, I have requested our Secretary for Food and Health close the border with mainland China to stop people moving from mainland China into Hong Kong and vice versa on 22nd January 2020, two days before I departed Hong Kong. It was 2-3 days later that the border was closed to mainlanders from Hubei. Further measures were announced by the government in press conference on 28th January 2020 to have further people movement control across the border with mainland China but not comprehensive and safe enough.

Last time, the spirit of health care workers in fighting against SARS was extremely high and I do hope that we could keep that degree of spirit this time. As far as protective PPE is concerned, we would source as much PPE as possible for our members. At the January 2020 Sunday afternoon symposium in Princess Margaret Hospital, we had already provided 95 boxes of surgical masks to our members at cost. We are more than happy to source further supplies of PPE on members’ request. Your needs in stocking enough protection gear are our deep concern. 

The measures we suggest now to our members to combat the WARS would be similar to those in 2003. As such, I would like to quote part of the President message entitled “Who’s at fault (II)” in May 2003 issue of HKDU Bulletin as follows for your reference:-

“The measures we suggested were enforcing mask wearing in crowded areas, strict isolation measures for close contacts, close schools for two weeks and health checks in the border.” …. “Compulsory mask wearing, quarantine and isolate close contacts and hospital staff caring SARS patients, ‘close’ border between Hong Kong and Mainland china to travelers for leisure or home visits, surveillance and quarantine of visitors in the ports, posting lists of SARS affected resident areas and private doctors (on a voluntary basis).” ….”Since there is the danger of insufficient respirators and supporting medical and nursing staff in the public health care system, the most important thing now is to prevent further rise in the number of new SARS cases. The most important task for members in private practice is to educate all citizens of Hong Kong to live a healthy life style and to implement adequate preventive measures so as to decrease the chance of contracting SARS or to decrease the severity of the disease if unluckily contracted the coronavirus. We do hope that the prevalence and incidence of the virus will decrease by June 2003 due to hot weather. And we do hope that, with our professional unfailing effort, all citizens of Hong Kong can breathe fresh air without masks pretty soon.”

I do wish that we can contain the WARS much sooner than June this time. With the development of WARS vaccine soon by our scientists, I do wish that my dream will realize soon. For the time being, please take care and protect yourselves with the formula PDF.3R that I have convened to you in our 2009 booklet of guidelines in combating new infectious diseases. God bless.

 

Dr. Yeung Chiu Fat Henry