London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

Hong Kong Covid crisis: why is the death rate so high?

Hong Kong Covid crisis: why is the death rate so high?

Low vaccination rates among the elderly, low rates of prior infection and an overwhelmed healthcare system have contributed to create the perfect storm

Hong Kong has recorded 5,000 Covid deaths and more than 1 million cases among its population of 7.5 million – so how did the situation become so bad?

What is happening in Hong Kong?


Hong Kong is in the grip of its worst Covid outbreak. The surge in infections during the fifth wave has outpaced other cities around the world. Analysis of government data by Hong Kong Free Press showed there were almost 900 confirmed infections per 100,000 Hong Kong citizens in early March, when cases peaked. The all-time high for the pandemic was previously held by New York City, with 500 cases per 100,000 residents, in January.

University of Hong Kong virologist Vijaykrishna Dhanasekaran said one factor behind the high rate was Hong Kong’s “high-density population and cramped spaces, especially in public housing estates”.

The city’s public healthcare system has also buckled under Omicron, with devastating effects. Patients were left to wait outside hospitals while bodies stacked up inside wards. Eventually, Omicron entered elderly care homes and found a particularly vulnerable portion of the population, all the more so because of the low vaccination rate among the city’s senior citizens.

Why does Hong Kong have such a high death rate?


Before the fifth wave, Hong Kong had reported a total of 212 coronavirus-related deaths. Now it is recording above that amount daily.

Virologist Siddharth Sridhar at Hong Kong University’s Department of Microbiology said Hong Kong’s Covid-19 death rate – among the worst in the world – was “tragic but expected”, pinning it on a “perfect storm” of low vaccination rates among elderly people, low rates of prior infection and an overwhelmed healthcare system.

Dhanasekaran said: “The data is really clear … Most people who end up in hospitals are not vaccinated, most people who are in severe conditions are elderly. It is really clear what has gone amiss.”

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has acknowledged that the city’s vaccination rate played a role. Currently, 81% of those aged 12 and over have received two doses of the vaccines available in Hong Kong – the Chinese-made Sinovac, a traditional inactivated vaccine, and BioNTech, an mRNA vaccine produced in Germany. However, that figure drops to almost 37% among those aged 80 and above.

Mistrust of the authorities after months of pro-democracy protests, arrests and an ensuing national security law crackdown have also been blamed for the low vaccine uptake, as well as an over-emphasis on potential side effects.

Hong Kong deaths per million people by location

Has the use of the Sinovac vaccine added to the crisis?


Government data shows Sinovac to be the preferred vaccine among those aged 70 and over, despite several studies indicating it is less effective – particularly against Omicron – than the BioNTech vaccine. That could be, in part, because some elderly care homes offer only the Sinovac jab to residents.

According to Dhanasekaran, Sinovac “has been shown to work really well in many countries” against earlier strains of the virus, although it was “not as effective as the BioNTech [jab]”.

Dhanasekaran said: “Having some vaccines is better than no vaccines”, adding that “Sinovac is not really the biggest issue here – the low vaccination rate is absolutely the problem.”

Vaccination rates by age group


What does Hong Kong’s failure against Omicron mean for mainland China?


Mainland China is battling a number of Omicron outbreaks that have seen almost 30 million people locked down. The governor of north-eastern Jilin province, the current centre of China’s infections, vowed to “achieve community zero-Covid in a week”, state media reported on Monday.

But in a sign that thousands of Omicron infections might be forcing a more dynamic approach from authorities, China approved the use of rapid antigen tests last Sunday – a first in the country, which has relied exclusively on nucleic acid tests to confirm Covid patients.

Hong Kong made a similar pivot at the end of February, when laboratories were unable to process the sheer number of specimens from nucleic acid tests coming in, causing huge backlogs in cases being reported. In mainland China, about 50% of those aged 80 and above are fully vaccinated. At present, only Chinese-made vaccines have been approved for use in the mainland, none of which are mRNA jabs.

Xi Chen, a health and development economist at Yale’s school of public health, recently tweeted a series of Financial Times charts highlighting Hong Kong’s death rate against countries with higher elderly vaccination rates. He captioned it: “A picture is worth a thousand words. A warning message to Chinese mainland.”

China has yet to report a surge in deaths related to its latest wave of infections, but experts agree that the country’s zero-Covid policy remains on a knife-edge. University of Oxford epidemiologist Chen Zhengmin told Reuters: “The next two weeks are key to determining whether existing policies can really be effective in curbing infection growth or even reaching completely zero cases in one city, as we saw last year.”

Comments

Oh ya 322 days ago
Well justvlike the UK government is reporting that 90% of there deaths are fully vaxxed. And its just starting folks

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
You're Beautiful - James Blunt (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Shell reports highest profits in 115 years
You Are So Beautiful
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Sattahip Motor Show 20
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
A kiss to build a dream on
What is ChatGPT?
Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth, Furious
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Mean Blues
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
La Chansonnette
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Pattaya Addicts
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Dream a little dream of me
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano - Hetty & the Jazzato Band
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
China's first population drop in six decades
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Rondo Alla Turca
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
Kiss of fire
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Amadeus violin cover instrumental)
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
La vie en rose
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Despacito (Piano Cover) - Peter Bence
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Edith Piaf - NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Only you (And you alone)
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
Strangers In The Night
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Summer time
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
Aux Champs Elysees
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
She
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
Radiohead - Creep
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
Pentatonix Havana
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
Clashes erupt in central Paris after shooting at a Kurdish cultural center
OH NANANA vs ABUSADAMENTE
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I'LL BE MISSING YOU
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Sway
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
GIPSY KINGS VOLARE Penelope Cruz
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Bella Ciao - INSTRUMENTAL
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BELLA CIAO 2020 - KARAOKE ITALIANO
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
2CELLOS - Despacito [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
00 - SADNESS PART 1
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river
×