Wuhan “in a State of War”, but without Health Protection Upgrades, says virologist

Main Link: “More than ten times as many infections than during SARS”

Yi Guan, or Guan Yi (管軼), a Chinese virologist who is credited with a crucial role in keeping SARS under control in 2004, is critical of Wuhan’s performance in combating the current coronavirus, according to Radio Taiwan International (RTI), quoting from an interview the professor gave Caixin online. For one, he doubts the efficiency of the restrictions on travels from Wuhan, as many people had already returned home to celebrate the new lunar year. Guan believes that by now, the infection rate is at least ten times as high as SARS was.

香港大學新發傳染性疾病國家重點實驗室主任管軼今天(23日)表示,武漢交通封城實際效果存疑,因為不少人已經回家過年。他又表示,武漢肺炎疫情已經無法控制,保守估計感染規模是嚴重急性呼吸道症候群(SARS)的10倍以上。

Guan also called the city’s less spectacular preventive measures into question. While staying in Wuhan on January 21 and 22, he had been to a vegetable market where sanitary conditions had been poor and where only one person in ten had been wearing a face mask. He also found disinfection at Wuhan airport was unsatisfactory, with only sporadic use of chemicals in the waiting lounges. Guan had also been told by a security officer that superiors, worried about the airport’s image, didn’t allow him to wear a face mask, and that all employees who did had brought their own ones, rather than getting them from their employer.

管軼接受中國大陸「財新網」訪問時說,21日曾到武漢考察兩天,發現一個菜市場衛生狀況惡劣,但只有不到一成人戴口罩,22日機場竟然還有旅行團出遊,機場地面沒有消毒,候機大廳只有零星地方放置消毒液。1名安檢人員對他表示,上級擔心影響形象不准戴口罩,口罩都是自備。管軼形容,武漢已經進入「戰爭狀態」,但衛生防護根本沒有升級。

While Wuhan had now entered “a state of war” (戰爭狀態), even basic health protection measures had not been upgraded.

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