|HK virus patients diagnosis delayed for weeks, raising risk of spread|
The identification and isolation of coronavirus patients in Hong Kong are being done days after victims start showing symptoms, a study by Chinese University revealed today, RTHK reports.
The team analyzed the first 56 infections in Hong Kong and found it took more than a week on average for patients to be isolated after they showed symptoms.
Most patients had sought medical assistance more than once before the coronavirus diagnosis was made, it found. In the worst case, a patient was diagnosed with the infection 14 days after the appearance of symptoms.
Professor Kwok Kin-on, one of the researchers who carried out the study, said the fact that coronavirus patients only showed mild symptoms at the beginning might lead to delayed diagnosis and isolation. He said it would increase the risk of transmission to close contacts and in hospitals.
“If more cases with unknown sources are identified, the government may have to consider more drastic approaches on social distancing including the closure of malls and public services,” he said.
“The general public [should] also strictly adopt social distancing measures, for example, to avoid mass gathering and to reduce social gatherings.
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