Covid alarmists are reporting on the situation in Hong Kong, claiming it proves them right in the measures they have backed over the past two years.
The latest reports are of overflowing morgues and a shortage of coffins. Here’s the report from MailOnline.
Morgues in Hong Kong are overflowing with bodies after a deadly Covid wave has forced workers in hazmat suits to dump corpses in shipping containers.
Workers in full PPE gear were seen moving bodies covered in black tarpaulin from a truck into rows of shipping containers outside Fu Shan Public Mortuary on Wednesday.
Hong Kong has recorded nearly a million infections and more than 4,600 deaths less than three months after the highly transmissible Omicron variant broke through.
The bulk of the deaths has been from the city’s unvaccinated elderly population.
A funeral industry representative told local media the soaring death toll had seen a crunch in the city’s coffins supply, with only 300 remaining and expected to be gone by the weekend.
Leader Carrie Lam acknowledged the supply issues during a press conference Wednesday, and said two more shipments of coffins will arrive in Hong Kong from the mainland soon.
The shocking images come just five days after bodies were seen lying abandoned on stretchers next to living patients in a Hong Kong hospital.
A medic working at the hospital told Hong Kong Free Press the photo was taken inside the Accident & Emergency ward of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong and circulated on Friday.
The photo, reportedly taken in early March, showed six body bags lying on stretchers as bed-bound patients struggled to prop themselves up.
Here are the pictures of shipping containers being used for bodies and bodies stored in bags on wards – presumably largely a consequence of strict Covid protocols that require those infected with Covid and the bodies of those who die with it to be kept separate from others.
The response to the situation from Covid alarmists has been both predictable and wrong.
Dr. Julian Tang, Honorary Associate Professor and Clinical Virologist at the University of Leicester, says it’s because not enough people were vaccinated with a good enough vaccine. Criticising the CoronaVac (Sinovac) vaccine for producing “no detectable neutralisation of Omicron”, he says: “Ideally, Hong Kong needs to boost or vaccinate all their citizens with the mRNA vaccines to better control the spread of Omicron.” Has Dr. Tang failed to notice that highly vaccinated countries like Israel and the U.K. have suffered at least as many Omicron infections as elsewhere? It’s incredible that scientists are still peddling the myth that the vaccines prevent or control the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Adam Kucharski, an epidemiologist and modeller at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, took to Twitter to claim that the situation proved him right: “Given current situation in Hong Kong, it’s astonishing that there’s anyone still out there who thinks that not taking Covid seriously in 2020-21 would have worked out fine. [Hong Kong] is a reminder of what happens when there’s a large epidemic in a still susceptible population – so large epidemics in countries pre-vaccination wouldn’t have ended well.”
The reality, though, is that Hong Kong’s Omicron wave has been dropping fast for 10 days now, and deaths will likely follow shortly. Note that unlike cities in China, Hong Kong has not been locked down, and a ban on gatherings of more than two is only being brought in now (why do politicians bring in extreme measures when infections are dropping?), meaning lockdown can’t be credited with putting the outbreak into reverse.
Deaths in the city have admittedly been very high for the region, as the comparison to South Korea shows. However, the death count per million is still a long way short of the U.K.’s. The chart below also shows that the trajectory has been similar to the U.K.’s winter 2020-21 wave, albeit smaller and shorter. We don’t have excess mortality data for Hong Kong so don’t know the impact on the overall level of deaths.
If the city’s morgue’s are overwhelmed and coffin supplies depleted then there may be an in-built capacity problem, as the U.K., along with many European countries, had a proportionally larger wave in winter 2020-21 without suffering similar logistical problems.
Why is Hong Kong suffering a wave of deaths worse than its neighbours? The main suggestion is that it’s because only 30% of the city’s over-80s were double vaccinated ahead of the Omicron wave, plus the poor efficacy (particularly against Omicron) of the CoronaVac (Sinovac) vaccine. The data show that 70% of deaths have been in the over-80s (around 60% in care homes) and 90% of deaths were not double vaccinated (though that means 10% of deaths were double vaccinated, quite high given just 30% of the over-80s are double vaccinated).
The vaccine explanation is plausible. However, the most important factor is surely the presence of a susceptible elderly population, plus Hong Kong being one of the world’s most densely populated places. The city has also been vaccinating during the outbreak, which evidence indicates contributes to driving the spread. Despite this, the death toll is, as noted, smaller than the U.K. winter 2020-21 wave. The fact that infections are dropping now shows once again that lockdowns are not necessary for this to happen. Vaccinating the elderly population with a more effective vaccine may well have prevented many of the recent deaths, but that doesn’t mean lockdowns were justified or there is value in vaccinating the low-risk population. Hong Kong is not the disaster the Covid alarmists are making it out to be, and it certainly does not vindicate the extreme measures of the past two years.