A senior public health expert in Hong Kong, on Monday said that the real number of people affected by the new coronavirus was close to 25,000 higher than the 2,744 cases confirmed by China’s National Health Commission.
Gabriel Leung, Head of the Li Ka Shing, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Hong Kong.
Gabriel said that his team’s research indicated that there were likely around 44,000 cases in the incubation stage.
According to Hong Kong National Health Commission, eighty people had already died and 2,744 were confirmed infected across China as of Monday, marking a rise in the death toll by 24 since Sunday.
Gabriel, who urged the Hong Kong Government on preparedness in response to disease, said his team expected the case count to continue to double every six days in the absence of any public health intervention.
He estimated that the Chinese city of Chongqing would encounter the largest epidemic as the city of over 30 million densely populated and closely connected to Wuhan, the city at the centre of the disease.
He said research indicated the peak of the outbreak would hit Chongqing approximately two weeks before outbreaks in other major cities like Beijing and Shanghai hit their peak in April and May before dying down in June and July.
Hong Kong has confirmed eight cases of the deadly coronavirus that researchers believe originated in a wet market in Wuhan where wild game including snakes, civet cats, and bats were sold for consumption.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that residents of Hubei province and non-Hong Kong citizens found to have visited the province after Jan. 12, would not be allowed entry into Hong Kong as of Jan. 27.(dpa/NAN)