COVID deaths hit 6 million worldwide as Omicron mutation devastates Hong Kong (2023)

Two years ago this week, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak threatening the globe a pandemic. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned at that time, “I’m deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.”

On that day there were fewer than 100,000 documented cases and the global death toll was just under 5,000, but the number of cases outside of China was increasing exponentially as new confirmed cases were reported in country after country.

Now the number of reported COVID cases has reached 445 million and the number of reported COVID deaths has passed the 6 million milestone. And the pandemic, after being suppressed for nearly two years in China through its successful Zero COVID policy, has now resurfaced in at least one part of that country, the autonomous trading center of Hong Kong.

Even the latest horrific figures on deaths and infections are official totals only, missing enormous numbers of pandemic victims, particularly in the poorer countries.

(Video) Omicron BA.5 is Overtaking The US: Immune Boosting Strategies

According to estimates of global COVID infections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) the number of new cases in 2022 alone has already exceeded 2.5 billion, due to the extreme contagiousness of the Omicron variants. One widely cited estimate of the global excess death toll is 19.9 million (according to the Economist), or 3.3 times the official number.

Not all the excess deaths are directly caused by SARS-CoV-2, but they have taken place because of the impact of the pandemic, and as a consequence of the policies adopted by capitalist governments around the world that have chosen to force the world’s people to endure a continued assault by a deadly pathogen rather than carry out basic public health measures to eliminate it once and for all.

Edouard Mathieu, head of data for the Our World in Data portal, told the Associated Press , “Confirmed deaths represent a fraction of the true number of deaths due to COVID, mostly because of limited testing, and challenges in the attribution of the cause of death. In some, mostly rich, countries that fraction is high, and the official tally can be considered to be fairly accurate, but in others it is highly underestimated.”

Instead, the policies of “living with the virus” have culminated in shedding of masks, ending of all protective measures like quarantines and lockdowns, resumption of travel and reopening of businesses all across the globe. As indicated by cellphone data, population mobility is above the pre-pandemic level. Concerted efforts have gone, not into a public health offensive against the virus, but into a propaganda offensive claiming that the Omicron variant is “mild” and that the coronavirus should be accepted as “endemic,” one whose deadly consequences are to become part of everyday life for the foreseeable future.

(Video) Hong Kong has 'close to 50,000 deaths' as Omicron spreads

Many of the countries and regions that had pursued an elimination strategy in the last few months have renounced such public health measures at significant detriment to their population. The situation now in Hong Kong is quite troubling and, as when Omicron was first reported in South Africa just a few months ago, may be a harbinger of the dangers awaiting many other countries.

Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, has a population of over 7.5 million. It had persisted in its Zero COVID policy, but the local government’s efforts began to weaken in the face of the highly transmissible BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron, which broke through in January and began to spread quickly. While playgrounds, gyms and salons remained closed, thousands went to the Mong Kok flower market and temples before celebrating the Lunar New Year holidays.

In an opinion piece published in the South China Morning Post, Regina Ip wrote, “It’s hardly surprising that large-scale outbreaks occurred afterwards in densely populated public housing areas. Little was done to mitigate the scope for deadly outbreaks at congested homes for the elderly, long highlighted as potential disaster areas.”

The head of the COVID Response Expert Team of the National Health Commission, Dr. Liang Wannian, who arrived in Hong Kong on February 28, instructed health officials that “the goal of ‘dynamic clearing’ is not to blindly pursue zero infections, but to cut off the chain of transmission as soon as possible to minimize the occurrence of infection, severe illness, and death.”

(Video) ‘Stealth Omicron’: How dangerous is the pandemic’s new highly infectious strain of Covid-19?

New COVID cases remained nominal at around 700 per day until the first week in February, when they exploded, reaching over 50,000 per day. From around 12,650 cumulative cases at the start of the New Year, case numbers have now catapulted to 440,000. Ninety percent of all cases have occurred in just the last three weeks.

In that same three weeks, the death toll jumped from a low of 219 to 1,774, with deaths each day so far in March equal to the total cumulative deaths in the two years of the pandemic. One hundred percent of all sequenced SARS-CoV-2 viruses from Hong Kong harbor the I1221T mutation at the BA.2 sub-variant’s spike protein, suggesting that this mutation offers the virus an important advantage.

The death toll on a per capita basis is extremely high and worrisome, considering it is linked to a new mutation. As shown in Figure 2, the per capita rate being witnessed now in Hong Kong is higher than any seen in the United States throughout the pandemic, underscoring the deadliness of the Omicron variants.

It appears that in Hong Kong many among the elderly are least vaccinated. Mistrust of government vaccination campaigns and misinformation about the vaccines meant that this group remains extremely vulnerable, a factor in the high rates of deaths being seen. Reports are also surfacing of the impact on children.

(Video) COVID Vaccines: The Latest on Omicron, Boosters, and Immunity

There are reports that bodies are piling up at Hong Kong’s hospitals and mortuaries. Lau Ka-hin, a senior administrator at Hong Kong’s hospital authority, informed the media, “There has been a surge of COVID-related deaths. We can’t process the transferral of bodies; therefore, you will see some bodies [stored] in accident and emergency rooms. The bodies of [the] deceased patients need to be moved to public mortuaries for autopsy and investigation.”

According to the South China Morning Post, health authorities are planning to repurpose half of all hospital beds for COVID-19 patients this week to accommodate the exponential growth in cases. Hospital Authority chairman Fan Hung-ling told the Post, “The original idea was to convert 30 percent of beds in public hospitals, but with the escalating new cases, the expert group led by Dr. Liang has suggested increasing it to 50 percent. Two hospitals, Tin Shui Wai Hospital and North Lantau Hospital, are already complete, providing 500 beds and more are in the pipeline.”

Shortage of medicinal oxygen is placing tremendous stress on the care of COVID patients. Patients are unable to be admitted to intensive care units due to overcrowding. Doctors and nurses speaking on condition of anonymity have painted a bleak picture, reminiscent of the darkest hours in Italian and New York City hospitals.

Once nurse said, “There had been some patients who ran out of oxygen and had a cardiac arrest and required resuscitation. I think it is negligence, but now we are in the middle of a crisis, and we are left with limited options.”

(Video) 7.12.2022_Dr. James Lawler Weekly COVID-19 Update

The crisis in Hong Kong demonstrates the ongoing severe threat of the virus to humanity, despite the complacent propaganda in the corporate media that the pandemic is coming to an end. Particularly concerning is the nature of the latest mutations and the impact they will have as they transmit across the world in days. Who will be next?

FAQs

When did Covid hit HK? ›

The COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was first confirmed to have spread to Hong Kong on 23 January 2020.

What's the cause of COVID-19? ›

Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2, causes coronavirus disease 2019 ( COVID-19 ). The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily among people. Data has shown that the COVID-19 virus spreads mainly from person to person among those in close contact.

Why are some people immune to Covid? ›

One in ten people may have a gene mutation that allows antibodies and T cells to be at the ready—which they developed when they contracted other coronaviruses, like the common cold—to immediately fight off COVID-19.

Where is coronavirus found? ›

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that cause diseases in animals and humans. They often circulate among camels, cats, and bats, and can sometimes evolve and infect people. In humans, the viruses can cause mild respiratory infections, like the common cold, but can lead to serious illnesses, like pneumonia.

When does Covid get worse? ›

A person may have mild symptoms for about one week, then worsen rapidly. Let your doctor know if your symptoms quickly worsen over a short period of time.

What year did the coronavirus breakout? ›

January 10, 2020

WHO announces that the outbreak in Wuhan, China is caused by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). CDC publishes information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on its website.

How long does COVID stay in the air? ›

The virus spreads when other people breathe in infected droplets or when the droplets land in the eyes, nose or mouth of a person nearby. Infection with the COVID-19 virus may also occur if someone is exposed to very small droplets or aerosols that stay in the air for several minutes or hours.

How long can COVID last? ›

Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks after infection, so at least four weeks after infection is the start of when post-COVID conditions could first be identified. Anyone who was infected can experience post-COVID conditions.

Do dogs get COVID? ›

The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals during close contact. Pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. The risk of pets spreading COVID-19 to people is low.

Can you build immunity to Covid? ›

After someone recovers from COVID-19, they develop antibodies that can provide protection against COVID-19 if they are exposed again. If you do not get vaccinated and only rely on this type of immunity, you are more susceptible to getting sick again or experiencing severe disease if there is a new variant.

Can u be immune to Covid? ›

Getting COVID-19 offers some natural protection or immunity from reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 . It's estimated that getting COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccination both result in a low risk of another infection with a similar variant for at least six months.

Are certain blood types immune to COVID-19? ›

Having Type A blood may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Having Type O and any Rh-negative blood type might help protect against getting infected with COVID-19. There's no clear relationship between having a certain blood type and the severity of COVID-19 illness.

When will the pandemic end 2022? ›

THURSDAY, Sept. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) – The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight, the leader of the World Health Organization declared Wednesday, with deaths at their lowest level worldwide since the new coronavirus first began to spread in March 2020.

How do you stop long Covid? ›

How can I prevent long Covid? One of the key ways to reduce the risk of long Covid is to get all the vaccines recommended for you. The vaccine not only reduces the risk of catching Covid-19, but there is also evidence that for those who do catch it, being vaccinated makes it less likely they will develop long Covid.

What was the first Covid? ›

COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China, and subsequently spread worldwide. The coronavirus was officially named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses based on phylogenetic analysis.

When does Covid peak in your body? ›

What does seem clear is that people with symptoms of COVID-19 are more contagious. And that the viral load tends to peak in the week after their symptoms first appear.

What medicine helps with Covid? ›

The FDA has approved an antiviral drug called remdesivir (Veklury) to treat COVID-19 in adults and children who are age 12 and older. Remdesivir may be prescribed for people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 and need supplemental oxygen or have a higher risk of serious illness.

When does Covid cough start? ›

Based on what researchers have learned about COVID-19 thus far, the first symptoms—which generally occur within seven days after infection—can include the following, which are listed in order of their usual appearance: Fever or chills. A persistent cough.

What Covid does to the body? ›

In some COVID-19 cases, the virus travels down into the lungs, leading to severe coughing and pneumonia. The virus attaches itself to two types of cells in the lung: goblet cells, which produce mucus, and cilia cells, which prevent the lungs from filling up with debris, such as dust, pollen and bacteria.

Who discovered COVID-19? ›

Zhang was the first to report the novel coronavirus; Dr. Li just blew the whistle. Both of them are worth remembering. At present, Chinese health-care workers have made a miracle in the fight against COVID-19.

Is Covid cough contagious after 14 days? ›

When do you stop being contagious if you have COVID-19? It depends. If you have a mild illness and your symptoms are getting better, you're probably not contagious after 10 days. If you have a severe illness or a weakened immune system, you can be contagious for up to 3 weeks.

How do you air out a room after Covid? ›

Use fans to improve air flow
  1. Place a fan as close as possible to an open window blowing outside. This helps get rid of virus particles in your home by blowing air outside. ...
  2. Point fans away from people. ...
  3. Use ceiling fans to help improve air flow in the home whether or not windows are open.

Can Covid be filtered out of air? ›

Air cleaning and filtration can help reduce airborne contaminants, including particles containing viruses.

How long does immunity last after Covid? ›

(2021). Naturally acquired SARS-CoV-2 immunity persists for up to 11 months following infection. The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

How long do Covid vaccines last? ›

We don't know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people.

How long does Covid last Omicron vaccinated? ›

How long do omicron symptoms last? Most people who test positive with any variant of COVID-19 typically experience some symptoms for a couple weeks. People who have long COVID-19 symptoms can experience health problems for four or more weeks after first being infected, according to the CDC.

What is the first symptom of Delta variant? ›

Delta variant symptoms are the same

Typically, vaccinated people are either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms if they contract the delta variant. Their symptoms are more like those of a common cold, such as cough, fever or headache, with the addition of significant loss of smell.

Can dogs eat apples? ›

Yes, dogs can eat apples. Apples are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber for your dog. They are low in protein and fat, making them the perfect snack for senior dogs. Just be sure to remove the seeds and core first.

Can dogs eat bananas? ›

Yes, bananas are good for dogs in small quantities. Unlike other fruits, which may have toxic components, every part of a banana is safe for your dog to eat, for the most part.

Can dogs eat watermelon? ›

The answer is yes, with a couple of precautions. First, seeds could cause an intestinal blockage, so make sure you remove them. It's also a good idea to remove the rind because it can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Is there natural immunity to Omicron? ›

Scientists found that without vaccination, infection with Omicron does not provide robust immunity against other COVID-19 variants.

How do you reinforce your immune system against Covid? ›

Here are six science-backed ways to build and maintain a strong, healthy immune system:
  1. Stay up-to-date on recommended vaccines. ...
  2. Maintain a healthy diet. ...
  3. Exercise regularly. ...
  4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. ...
  5. Get plenty of sleep. ...
  6. Minimize stress.
21 Oct 2022

Does vitamin d3 help immunity? ›

According to the pleiotropic effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 in the immune system, increasing epidemiological data underline the importance of adequate vitamin D intakes in reducing the risk of several autoimmune diseases and infections such as tuberculosis.

Who should not take the Covid vaccine? ›

Authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe for most people, with few exceptions: Current vaccines are not authorized for children younger than age 6 months. Individuals who have had severe allergic reactions to other vaccines or injectable therapies should not get vaccinated against COVID-19.

How do you build immunity? ›

Our immune systems are complex and influenced by many factors. Vaccines build immunity against specific diseases. Some additional ways you can strengthen your immune system are eating well, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, not smoking, and avoiding excessive alcohol use.

Can you get Covid back to back? ›

Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.

What's the best blood type to have? ›

O negative blood can be used in transfusions for any blood type. Type O is routinely in short supply and in high demand by hospitals – both because it is the most common blood type and because type O negative blood is the universal blood type needed for emergency transfusions and for immune deficient infants.

What is the most desired blood type? ›

Type O negative, often called the “universal” blood, is always in demand because O negative red blood cells can be transfused to anyone regardless of their blood type. Those with A+, B+, AB+ or AB- type blood are commonly recruited as platelet donors.

What's the rarest blood type? ›

What's the rarest blood type? AB negative is the rarest of the eight main blood types - just 1% of our donors have it. Despite being rare, demand for AB negative blood is low and we don't struggle to find donors with AB negative blood.

Will Covid go away in 2022? ›

The analysis showed that the COVID-19 pandemic could terminate in 2022, but COVID-19 could be one or two times more deadly than seasonal influenza by 2023. The prediction considered the possibility of the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and was supported by the features of the Omicron variant and other facts.

Should I still wear a mask? ›

In addition to being up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, consistently wearing a comfortable, well-fitting face mask or respirator in indoor public settings provides protection against getting infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Is Corona increasing or decreasing in India? ›

The active caseload has reported a marginal decline at 18,31,268, which constitutes 4.43 per cent of the country's total positive cases. The recovery of 2,62,628 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally to 3,89,76,122. Consequently, India's recovery rate stands at 94.37 per cent.

What does COVID do to the brain? ›

Damage to endothelial cells in blood vessels in the brain can lead to leakage of proteins from the blood. This causes bleeds and clots in some COVID-19 patients and can increase the risk of stroke.

What is COVID chest pain like? ›

Tightness, a squeezing sensation, pain or pressure in the chest that doesn't go away after a few minutes, or stops and then returns. Pain or discomfort in your arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. Shortness of breath.

What is the fastest way to recover from COVID at home? ›

Most people with coronavirus (COVID-19) or symptoms of COVID-19 feel better within a few weeks.
...
Treating a high temperature
  1. get lots of rest.
  2. drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear.
  3. take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable.

How do Covid symptoms start? ›

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Possible symptoms include: Fever or chills.

When did US shut down for Covid? ›

March 15, 2020

States begin to implement shutdowns in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

When did the Delta variant hit the US? ›

In summer 2021, people were feeling some hope—or at least cautious optimism—that the pandemic could recede to the background, although there was still the threat that new mutations of the COVID-19 virus could bring it back, and it might be even stronger. That's when the Delta variant surfaced in the United States.

Why is the crime rate so low in Hong Kong? ›

Cultural factors such as utilitarian familism, Confucianism and extended kinship structures are often cited as contributing factors to the low crime rates in HK.

Why is Hong Kong so populated? ›

After the Second World War, Hong Kong experienced a massive influx of Chinese immigrants. This led to a lack of housing in the city. In response, entrepreneurs and those with “squatter's rights” in Kowloon built high rise buildings on the space to capitalise on the housing demand.

How sneezing hamsters sparked a Covid outbreak in Hong Kong? ›

Hamsters are only the second species known to have spread SARS-CoV-2 to humans. Pet hamsters probably carried the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 into Hong Kong and sparked a human COVID-19 outbreak, according to a genomic analysis of viral samples from the rodents.

How long will Covid last? ›

People at higher risk of serious illness may take weeks to recover. If a person develops long-term health problems caused by COVID-19, symptoms most commonly continue for 2 to 8 weeks after infection.

How long does natural immunity to Covid? ›

(2021). Naturally acquired SARS-CoV-2 immunity persists for up to 11 months following infection. The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Is Hong Kong one of the safest cities in the world? ›

According to US researchers Gallup 2018 Global Law and Order report, Hong Kong rose eight notches to rank as the sixth safest city in the world with a score of 91.

Is Hong Kong a poor country? ›

The economy of Hong Kong is a highly developed free-market economy. It is characterised by low taxation, almost free port trade and a well-established international financial market.
...
Economy of Hong Kong.
Statistics
Population below poverty line19.9% (2016 est.)
Gini coefficient53.9 high (2016)
37 more rows

Is Hong Kong safe to live in? ›

Hong Kong is an advanced economy with very low rates of crime across the city. That's not to say crime doesn't happen. Thefts, assaults and burglaries occur as in any other city, and organised crime is a wider issue for the city. However, overall, crime levels are comparatively low and decreasing.

Is Hong Kong ethnically Chinese? ›

Ethnically, Hong Kong mainly consists of Chinese who constitute approximately 92% of the population. Of these, many originate from various regions in Guangdong. There are also a number of descendants of immigrants from elsewhere in Southern China during and after the Chinese Civil War.

Is Hong Kong a third world city? ›

Hong Kong is essentially a first-world city with third-world air quality levels,” ECA's regional director for Asia, Lee Quane, said.

Are Hong Kong people ethnically Chinese? ›

Ethnicity and background

According to Hong Kong's 2016 census, 92 per cent of its population is ethnically Chinese, with 32.1 per cent having been born in Mainland China, Taiwan or Macau.

What animals can get Covid? ›

The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals during close contact. Pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.

Can hamsters eat chocolate? ›

Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate: It contains theobromine and is toxic in large amounts, which is easy to do with the tiny, sweet-toothed hamster. Garlic: This can cause indigestion and blood disorders in moderate amounts. Kidney beans, uncooked: These are toxic to hamsters; do not feed!

Can hamsters eat cheese? ›

Hamsters should get no more than a pea-sized amount of cheese just once or twice a week. Choose a cheese that is low in fat and salt, like low-fat cottage cheese or mozzarella. Avoid fatty or salty cheeses like aged cheddar, parmesan, and processed cheese products.

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