With the rapid spread of the Wuhan flu leaving the most serious cases in North District Hospital in Sheung Shui near the Chinese border, Filipinos in Hong Kong were urged to observe strict visiting hours imposed in Hong Kong public hospitals, according to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), as official reports indicate the flu that started from the province has already spread to other parts of the region.
In line with this, Commerce Secretary, Edward Yau shared that Hong Kong’s government is on high alert to deal with a new flu-like coronavirus that has already killed nine people in mainland China.
OFWs Urged to Observe Strict Visiting Hours Amid Wuhan Flu Outbreak
According to Welfare Officer, Marivic C. Clarin, hospital visits have been limited to two evening hours a day at varying times in different wards, and visitors are required to wear masks and wash their hands before and after visiting, as shared in a report by The Sun HK.
Clarin explained that those who are planning to visit patients should check the visiting hours and restrictions imposed by hospitals to avoid wasting time and fare money.
She also advised Filipino workers to schedule themselves for free anti-flu shots at designated centers, and employers should do their part by encouraging their workers to get vaccinated, as well.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus, which is similar to the one that caused the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that killed hundreds of people 17 years ago.
The new virus has killed at least six people and infected nearly 300 others since the start of the year. The latest reports indicate it has spread to 20 other Chinese cities, with most of the patients being detected in the province of Wuhan, where it was believed to have originated.
Currently, there is no confirmed case of the Wuhan infection in Hong Kong as of yet.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the first suspected case of the flu was reported last January 21 (Tuesday). A five-year-old boy who had a history of visiting Wuhan province was admitted to a hospital after showing flu-like symptoms.
For his part, Health Secretary Francisco Duque II said discharge samples were taken from the boy and was sent to the pathologist to find out what strain of the virus had made him sick.
Although there haven’t been any confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Hong Kong, patients who show symptoms of having the pneumonia are being reported daily by public hospitals.
At present, there are 21 patients still in isolation, 19 patients are in stable condition, and two patients are in critical and serious conditions, respectively, due to underlying diseases.
A public hospital spokesperson has advised the public to avoid visiting patients inwards if they have a fever, or have had close contact with patients with respiratory symptoms in places where novel coronavirus infection may have been transmitted.