China News Agency, Hong Kong, December 7th (Reporter Han Xingtong) The epidemic in Hong Kong has intensified recently, and the number of new cases in a single day is hovering at a high level.
Many Hong Kong medical experts believed in an interview with a reporter from China News Agency on the 7th that Hong Kong has experienced a considerable scale of natural infection and a high vaccination rate, and has built mixed immunity, which has played a role in reducing severe illness and death. The possibility of a large-scale outbreak of the epidemic is low.
The number of new daily cases in Hong Kong has hovered around 10,000 for the past week.
Jin Dongyan, a professor and virologist at the Department of Biochemistry of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, pointed out that the reason for the increase in the epidemic is that after most people acquire antibodies through natural infection or vaccination, their immunity gradually declines after a period of time and they are infected with the virus.
But this does not change the fact that after natural infection or a fairly high vaccination rate, Hong Kong already has mixed immunity, forming a herd immunity barrier.
Xu Shuchang, an expert consultant to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and a chair professor of respiratory system at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, also talked about the importance of mixed immunity.
One of the most intuitive examples is that although there are nearly 10,000 new cases every day, the overall symptoms are mild.
As far as he knows, there are currently only about 20 to 30 confirmed patients who need to be admitted to the intensive care unit. Compared with the outbreak at the beginning of the year, the average number of patients in the intensive care unit of a public hospital has exceeded this number.
Of course, the milder disease after infection is also related to the mutation of the virus strain. Both Xu Shuchang and Jin Dongyan believe that since the epidemic has developed, Omicron has been significantly weakened compared with the first few generations of viruses such as Alpha and Delta.
Recently, new mutated virus strains have flowed into Hong Kong with imported cases, including XBB, XBD, BQ.1.1, etc. Among them, XBB cases are the most involved.
According to the figures released by the Center for Health Protection of the Department of Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, as of the 6th, a total of 225 cases of XBB were found among imported cases, and 113 cases of XBB were found among local cases.
Jin Dongyan explained that the mutations of these virus strains are all "drifts". During this process, the virus characteristics, infectivity, pathogenicity, and immune escape will not change significantly, so there is no need to worry, "We There are already enough tools to deal with it and minimize its impact on normal human life and economic activities."
That being the case, why should the number of deaths in Hong Kong still increase in the past two weeks?
It turns out that different regions have different calculation standards and habits when calculating the death cases of the new coronavirus.
Jin Dongyan said that as long as Hong Kong died within 28 days of the date of the first positive sample collection, it would be counted as a new crown death case.
Xu Shuchang provided research estimates on this: About 60% to 70% of the death cases announced so far are directly related to the new coronary pneumonia, and the remaining deaths are caused by long-term illnesses, such as strokes and cerebral hemorrhages, not direct deaths. Yu Xinguan.
Most of the deaths were elderly people with chronic illnesses who had not been vaccinated.
According to figures released by the Center for Health Protection, more than 95% of all deaths were elderly people aged 60 or above, more than 90% had known chronic diseases, and more than 60% had never been vaccinated.
After experiencing the epidemic at the beginning of the year, Hong Kong has relaxed its epidemic prevention measures in an orderly manner.
Lin Zhexuan, a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Medical and Health Sector), said that although the epidemic has repeatedly occurred in the past six months, the current number of cases has increased by about eight times, and the number of deaths has only doubled, which means that the death rate has actually declined.
At the same time, the number of arrivals rose, but the number of imported cases remained stable.
Lin Zhexuan believes that on this basis, it is reasonable to appropriately relax social distance measures, whether it is from a medical perspective or from the perspective of balancing economic activities and citizens' daily life, it is very important.