Tag Archive | Hong Kong

Over a dozen injured in Hong Kong after tram flips over

MERS Virus alarm grows as two more people are tested in Hong Kong

MERS Virus Alert

Hong Kong authorities were testing two people for possible Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) on Thursday as worry grew across the region about the outbreak in South Korea.
 
The two Hong Kong people had recently travelled to South Korea, said the clinic that was treating them. Thirty-one people in Hong Kong who suspected they might have caught the disease have so far tested negative.
 
On Tuesday Hong Kong issued a “red alert” advisory against non-essential travel to South Korea, where 14 new cases of Mers were reported on Thursday, taking the total there to 122 cases. South Korea’s outbreak is now the largest outside Saudi Arabia.
 
One case has been reported in China, that of a South Korean man who travelled there after defying a suggestion from health authorities in South Korea that he stay in voluntary quarantine.
 
Hong Kong’s travel industry council has also cancelled 600 tour groups to South Korea, affecting about 12,000 travellers.
 
In the nearby former Portuguese colony of Macau, authorities have also warned residents against travel to South Korea unless absolutely necessary.
 
Nine people have died in South Korea of the disease, which is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered a deadly 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) that began in China.
 
There is no cure or vaccine for Mers, which was first identified in humans in 2012.
 
Most of the global cases, which number 1,271 according to World Health Organisation data, and at least 448 related deaths, have been in the Middle East.
Courtesy of theguardian.com

Hong Kong Quarantines 18 Over MERS Fears

MERS Virus Alert

Hong Kong authorities quarantined 18 fellow passengers of a South Korean man who arrived in the city infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS.
 
The Chinese city’s health authorities said Saturday the 18 are quarantined in the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village resort in a remote part of Hong Kong for two weeks. They were seated within two rows of the South Korean man, but have not showed any symptoms so far.
 
Another 17 people are under medical surveillance.
 
Authorities say the 44-year-old South Korean man flew from Seoul to Hong Kong on Tuesday and then traveled by bus to the Chinese mainland. He is China’s first imported MERS case and is being held in isolation at a hospital in southern China.
 
The potentially fatal virus is similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which broke out in China in 2002. Fifteen cases of MERS have been detected in South Korea.
 
Hong Kong authorities were asking other passengers of Asiana Airlines Flight 723 to contact them.
Courtesy of nbcnews.com

Possible New Deadly Virus Outbreak In Hong Kong

Virus Alert

Hong Kong’s health minister stated that rampant seasonal flu in Hong Kong and the recent strain of bird flu detected in poultry could together give rise to a deadly new virus
The rampant seasonal flu in Hong Kong and the recent strain of bird flu detected in poultry could together give rise to a deadly new virus, Hong Kong’s health minister said Sunday.
 
“If a person contracts two viruses, a gene recombination is likely to happen,” Ko Wing-man was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post, adding that the mutation could lead to a more contagious virus.
 
According to the newspaper, Hong Kong has recorded 140 deaths and 241 patients in intensive care related to the seasonal influenza outbreaks in the region as of Saturday.
 
While in January, Hong Kong health officials culled thousands of chickens from mainland China after tests found the bird flu virus in the poultry.
 
The seasonal outbreak has overwhelmed public hospital which already experience staff shortages. Ko also warned people not to rely on flu vaccines which would be out of stock until April.
 
Meanwhile, Hong Kong leader Leung Pak-ying said there will be an appeal for private doctors to work part-time in the public hospitals, as reported by the newspaper.
Courtesy of Sputnik News

Woman critically ill with H7N9 virus in Hong Kong

H7N9 Picture
Hong Kong hospitals raised alert levels Sunday, as a woman diagnosed with the deadly H7N9 avian flu virus was in a critical condition.
 
The 68-year-old woman was hospitalized on Dec. 25 after returning from the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen almost two weeks earlier, although it has not been confirmed where or how she contracted the virus.
 
Ten people had previously been diagnosed with H7N9 in Hong Kong, three of whom died. All had contracted the virus in mainland China, according to Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection.
 
The outbreak, which first emerged on the mainland in February 2013, has reignited fears that a bird flu virus could mutate to become easily transmissible between people, threatening to trigger a pandemic.
 
In response to the new case, the city’s first since early 2014, Hong Kong announced it was raising its response level in hospitals to “serious” from “alert,” with extra precautions implemented in hospitals from Sunday. The rules include limitations on visiting hours and compulsory surgical masks for those visiting patients.
 
There are three response levels, with “emergency” the most serious. The Hong Kong government reduced the level from “serious” to “alert” in June after a drop in cases.
 
Health Minister Ko Wing-man said late Saturday that the woman had been with two friends in Shenzhen, where she had eaten “home-cooked chicken,” although she is not believed to have had contact with live poultry at markets.
 
She remained in intensive care Sunday, hospital authorities said.
 
Hong Kong slaughtered 20,000 chickens in January after the virus was found in poultry imported from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. A four-month ban on live poultry imports from mainland China was then imposed to guard against the disease.
 
Ko said the new response level would not affect the import of poultry for the time being, as “rapid testing” had been introduced to check birds for the disease. “We will closely monitor the situation . . . then decide the appropriate measures,” he said.
 
Hong Kong is particularly alert to the spread of viruses after an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome swept through the city in 2003, killing 299 people and infecting around 1,800. There have been 469 cases of H7N9 in mainland China since 2013, according to Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection.
Courtesy of The Japan Times

3rd-highest storm signal as Typhoon Kalmaegi targets Hong Kong

Typhoon Alert

Hong Kong will delay morning trading sessions after the city issued its third-highest storm signal for the first time this year as Typhoon Kalmaegi sweeps by the financial center.
 
At 7 a.m., Kalmaegi was centered about 390 kilometers (242 miles) southwest of Hong Kong and is moving west-northwest at about 30 kilometers an hour toward the Leizhou peninsula and Hainan island in China, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.
 
“Although Kalmaegi is moving gradually away from Hong Kong, its associated rainbands will affect Hong Kong intermittently, and local gale force winds will persist for a period of time,” the Observatory said. “It is expected that the No. 8 Gale or Storm Signal will remain in force for some time in the morning.”
 
If signal 8 is still in place at 9 a.m., then morning trading sessions for all markets will be canceled, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. said in a statement today. If the signal is canceled at or before noon, then securities trading will resume in the afternoon, it said.
 
Banks will be closed to the public because of the typhoon.
 
The Observatory raised the No. 8 Storm Signal at 10:30 p.m. local time yesterday, according to its website. Winds with sustained speeds as high as 130 kilometers per hour were measured at the storm’s center, the observatory said.
Flight Disruption
As of 3 a.m., 244 arriving flights and 275 departing flights had been delayed in Hong Kong, with 19 arrivals and 19 departures canceled, the Hong Kong government said in a press release. Six people have sought medical treatment and there had been two reports of flooding, it said.
 
China Southern Airlines Co., the country’s largest airline by passengers carried, canceled more than 50 flights scheduled for yesterday and today because of the approach of the typhoon, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.
 
China recalled about 30,000 vessels to harbor and evacuated about 6,000 oil rig workers by helicopter as Kalmaegi approached, Xinhua said.
 
The Hong Kong observatory raised the Signal 8 warning three times last year. The city, located on China’s southern coast, gets on average about six tropical cyclones annually, according to the weather bureau.
 
The Hong Kong weather bureau raised Signal 3 once previously this year, for Super Typhoon Rammasun in July.

Severe turbulence strikes plane; 20 injured; South African plane en route to Hong Kong

Turbulence Alert

South African Airways says 20 people on a Hong Kong-bound flight were injured when the plane ran into severe turbulence.

 

The airline said in a statement that SA286 departed Johannesburg on Tuesday and landed in Hong Kong on Wednesday, and that medics were waiting to assist the passengers when the aircraft arrived.

 

Airline spokesman Tlali Tlali says 17 passengers and three crewmembers were injured. The Hong Kong fire department adds that two people were critically injured. The victims were taken to three hospitals.

 

The airline says 165 passengers were on the plane when the turbulence struck as the plane was flying over Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

 

Hong Kong Issues Highest Storm Warning for Second Time in 2014

Storm Alert

Rain dowsed Hong Kong yesterday causing street flooding and prompting the city’s weather service to raise a black storm warning, the second time the highest alert has been triggered this year.

The Hong Kong Observatory also issued warnings for winds as strong as 100 kilometers (62 miles) an hour, and for thunderstorms, according to postings on its website and Twitter feed. Those cautions are still in effect.

Flooding was reported in the Central, Wan Chai, Wong Tai Sin, Sai Kung and Tseung Kwan O districts, government broadcaster RTHK said on its website. There were also landslides in the Sai Kung and Tseung Kwan O districts.

A black rainstorm warning was raised on March 30, when hailstones shattered windows, including part of the glass facade at Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust’s Festival Walk mall in the Kowloon Tong area.

Yesterday’s black storm alert was in effect from 10:30 p.m. to 11:40 p.m. local time. All rainstorm alerts were canceled at 2:05 a.m. this morning. More than 70 millimeters of rain fell between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. in many parts of the city, the South China Morning Post reported.

The city’s Cross-Harbour Tunnel was flooded with several inches of rain, the Hong Kong-based newspaper said on its website, citing a video posted online. Buses broke down in the Causeway Bay district, it said.

Ships collide, crew missing near Hong Kong

Breaking News

Eleven crew members of a Chinese cargo ship were missing following a collision with a container ship in waters off Hong Kong.

The cargo ship Zhong Xing 2 sank after the collision with the 300-metre long Marshall Islands-registered MOL Motivator about two nautical miles south-west of Po Toi Island, a spokeswoman of the Hong Kong maritime department said.

“Zhong Xing 2 is suspected to have sunk after the collision, and it is reported there are 12 crew on board,” said the spokeswoman. “One of them was picked up by a fishing vessel navigating close by.” The remaining 11 crew were reported missing.

Hong Kong’s marine rescue co-ordination centre has deployed one helicopter, five marine police launches and three fire service department launches to assist in the search.

The 79,400-tonne MOL Motivator was travelling from Hong Kong to Yantian port in southern China. Hong Kong is the world’s fourth-largest container port, after neighbouring Shenzhen. Vessels navigating near the collision site have been warned there may be a sunken ship nearby and have been asked to stay away.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued an amber rain warning, signalling expectations of heavy rain in parts of the territory overnight.

Thirty-nine people died in the city’s worst maritime disaster in more than 40 years in October 2012 when a high-speed ferry collided with a pleasure boat.