The scale of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak triggered frightening memories of the 2003 SARS epidemic. In this photo taken in Hong Kong on 27 January 2020, pedestrians are seen wearing face masks while crossing the road as a preventative measure following the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

Wuhan coronavirus highlights the complexity of Hong Kong’s political situation

In 2003, criticisms of how the authorities handled the SARS outbreak were harsh but kind. Now with the outbreak of the Wuhan virus in Hong Kong, people are quicker to cast the first stone despite the authorities’ relatively faster response. Politics in Hong Kong is seeping into every facet of life, even the flu.
The outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus is rapidly escalating. In this photo taken on 21 January 2020, people wearing protective masks are seen arriving at Beijing railway station to head home for the Lunar New Year. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Wuhan coronavirus: Lack of urgency and transparency to blame?

Wuhan is now a quarantine zone with a death toll in China of 17 and more than 570 infected. Cases have also been surfacing elsewhere such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the US. In light of such rapid escalation, Yang Danxu questions why it has taken this long for the Chinese authorities to step up their crisis efforts.
Women wearing masks in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong authorities have stepped up vigilance against the mystery pneumonia in Wuhan. (CNS)

China’s mystery pneumonia

The recent outbreak of a mystery pneumonia in Wuhan brings back memories of the 2003 SARS epidemic. How are the Chinese authorities responding differently this time, and are people sufficiently reassured?