As countries across Asia Pacific battle with coronavirus resurgence, one data point steers policy responses: the proportion of cases with no sure sign of how the infection occurred. Those patients can not be linked by virus responders to other confirmed infections or existing outbreaks, implying hidden transmission chains. A greater number of increasing COVID cases in the city is pushing governments, as in Australia and Hong Kong, to take wide-ranging and blunt action, trying to return entire cities to lockdown conditions.
By contrast, a low proportion of cases of unknown origin means that authorities can remain relatively relaxed — as in South Korea and Japan — even if the hundreds of total daily new infections reach out. These countries may follow a focused and agile approach, closing down schools or workplaces where clusters are located, thus allowing normal life for the rest of the population.
This data point is a telltale sign that resurgence will flare up into larger waves across the globe, and that people need to gird themselves for a return to the lockdown. Here’s a rundown of how locations that battle flare-ups use the number to direct their responses:
British Colony’s Responses
The Asian financial hub has enjoyed three months of normal life before this month ‘s surprise resurgence which looks set to be its worst-ever wave. “Unknown roots” infections have risen to half of all new local cases, meaning they come from all corners. The former British colony has responded rapidly, enforcing its toughest-ever restrictions on the 7.5 million nation. Early summer break began at schools, while bars, gyms and beaches were shut. Public meetings are limited to four people, and those who fail to wear public transport masks will be fined HK$5,000 ($645).
Melbourne’s 5 million people in the midst of a six-week lockdown impose by the government due to a new outbreak of coronavirus infections in Victoria state, 51 per cent of which is the unknown origin or still under investigation. The epidemic is spilling over into Sydney, creating concerns that the largest city in Australia will be a fresh hot spot.
The lockdown included banning 3,000 people from leaving their apartments for several days in public-housing tower blocks. It is before they were all screened. This is reminiscent of the strict controls place in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus first detect. The policy makes Australia one of the few western democracies to require people forbid to move outside their homes.
Japanese Officials on Cases
Labelled as “infections with unknown routes” by Japanese officials, the share of such cases was initially low. It is at about one fifth when the new outbreak began about a month ago. The government cited this for doing relatively little action and trying to continue to open up the economy and society. Yet the proportion of cases of unknown origin has now risen to around 45 per cent, raising concern.
The Japanese government has no legal authority to compel companies to shut down. The situation has caused the country’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura to strike a tougher tone. It is on nightclubs, warning that some ask to close. It is only if they do not comply with guidelines. Tokyo increased its warning level on a four-point scale on Wednesday. It is to the highest and asked people to adjust their actions to avoid further spread.
The country praised for its success in trying to tame the virus through quick testing and aggressive contact tracing. It is without lockdowns continues to maintain relative composure in the face of resurgences. In the first two weeks of July, only a tenth of new cases in South Korea came. It is from unknown transmission routes. While the authorities have introduced electronic exit and entry systems into high-risk areas. It includes gyms and nightclubs, they have not had to impose wide-ranging measures. It is restricting the movement of people. This is as daily new cases range from 30 to 60 plus – sometimes more than Hong Kong.
The rise of this category of cases and their effect on containment policy is due to the coronavirus’ pernicious infectiousness. A quality has enabled it to spread so widely in a short time. There is much that scientists still do not understand the nature of the virus. It includes how it lingers in the air and for how long, and how it traces. This is to imported shrimp packaging in China.