Friday, February 7, 2020

Striking Hospital Workers Demonstrate Common Sense

Striking hospital workers line up in the corridors of the Hospital Authority headquarters on Friday

Common sense has prevailed when Hong Kong’s striking hospital workers voted down a plan to extend their industrial action – but insisted they will continue to fight for better protection against the deadly new coronavirus and the full closure of the city’s border with mainland China. 

Only 3,000 votes were secured to press ahead with the work boycott until next Wednesday. This was well short of the 6,000 vote – 30 percent of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance’s total membership – the union called for. 

I can’t say enough that while preventive measures ought to be taken, we shouldn’t be so easily spooked to the point that the populace capitulate into mass hysteria. 

The mortality rate of 2019-nCoV is 2%. However, this is likely to be an overestimate since many more people are likely to have been infected by the virus but not suffered severe enough symptoms to attend hospital, and so have not been counted.

For comparison, seasonal flu typically has a mortality rate below 1% and is thought to cause about 400,000 deaths each year globally. 

Let’s be sensible. Unless you have recently traveled to China or been in contact with someone infected with the virus, then you should treat any cough or cold symptoms as normal.

On Wednesday, Celtic extended their winning run with a comfortable 4-0 Scottish Premiership win against Motherwell. 

Odsonne Edouard scored a brace (9, 80) and Leigh Griffiths (51) and Callum McGregor (75) also netting, as Celtic recorded an eleventh consecutive domestic away victory by sweeping aside the league's third-placed side.

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