When SARS broke out in 2002 to 2003, the Chinese regime claimed that there were 5,327 cases of infection and 349 deaths in mainland China. At the time, there were 1,755 infections in Hong Kong and 299 deaths.
The transmission rate of the CCP Virus is higher than that of SARS. And the number of mainland Chinese tourists in Hong Kong is many times higher today than 17 years ago.
Given such context, Hong Kong was predicted to have the biggest outbreak outside of mainland China. But to date, there are 162 infections and four deaths in Hong Kong.
Of the 162 people infected, many came from the mainland. Of the four dead, three are elderly (2 males and 1 female) between 70 to 80-years-old.
Compared to the past, there have been less mainland Chinese visiting Hong Kong, due to recent pro-democracy protests. But according to statistics from the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the number of mainland Chinese tourists is still very large. There were roughly 93,000 mainland tourists in August, 80,000 in September, 83,000 in October, 64,000 in November, and 79,900 in December. In addition, there are nearly 500,000 Hongkongers working in the mainland. They often travel to and from the mainland and could potentially transmit the virus.
In particular, Hong Kong has direct high-speed trains to and from Wuhan. The outbreak across the border, in the cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, are also relatively serious. The risk of Hong Kong people becoming infected is very high.
Let’s compare Hong Kong’s and Taiwan’s interactions with China. 77 people were confirmed with the CCP Virus in Taiwan. Taiwan has about 100,000 mainland tourists per month, while Hong Kong has about 100,000 daily. But the number of people infected in Hong Kong is 162, which is only 2.1 times that of Taiwan’s total infections.
Taiwan has been praised for its swift and effective methods of preventing the virus from spreading.
Comparing with the United States, the number of mainland Chinese tourists to the United States in 2019 was about 5,100 people per day. That equates to roughly 20 times less than mainland visitors to Hong Kong, but the number of confirmed cases in Hong Kong is far below the U.S. total of 8,320 confirmed cases.
Hongkongers: The Heavens Will Disintegrate the Chinese Communist Party
The Hong Kong government’s virus containment efforts were heavily criticized by Hongkongers. The government refused to close all its border crossings with mainland China, despite people’s protests. Few preventative measures were put in place. What allowed Hong Kong to remain relatively unscathed?
Last November, intense clashes broke out between police and student protesters at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as the former besieged the campus with rounds and rounds of tear gas. As protesters confronted police at the No. 2 bridge of the university, the students held up a banner that read, “the heavens will disintegrate the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”
In the past six months, millions of Hong Kong people took to the streets to protest against the Chinese regime, triggered by an extradition bill that proposed allowing individuals to be transferred to mainland China for criminal trial. Hongkongers believed this was the final straw in the Chinese regime’s erosion of their freedoms and basic rights. They stood at the forefront of the battle against authoritarianism, with their slogans “Free Hong Kong, Revolution Now.”
During the anti-extradition-bill movement, signs with the message, “the heavens will disintegrate the CCP” could be seen throughout all the streets and alleys in Hong Kong. The righteousness of Hong Kong people helped them to evade today’s calamity.
An online article recently became popular among Hong Kong netizens. It explained:
Because of the anti-extradition-bill movement, people no longer trust the Hong Kong government.
During the movement, people self-initiated efforts to help each other instead of relying on the government. As a result, during the CCP Virus outbreak, people formed aid networks, practiced good hygiene, and avoided public gatherings in an effort to contain the virus’s spread.
The painful experience of SARS also taught Hong Kong people how to “react quickly” and secure appropriate medical supplies.
Hong Kong thus became one of the least affected regions during this global pandemic. In this sense, it appears that staying away from communism is the safest bet.