Press Release 新聞稿

Immediate Evacuation of Hong Kong Passengers From Diamond Princess

新  聞  稿










*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


16 February 2020


Immediate Evacuation of Hong Kong Passengers From Diamond Princess


The Hong Kong Medical Association would like to express our grave concern over the safety of Hong Kong passengers on board Diamond Princess under quarantine in Japan. The continuing detection of large number of COVID-19 cases more than 10 days after quarantine suggests ongoing and widespread transmission in the cruise ship. The disease rate within the limited space of the ship is now many folds of that in the worst affected city of Wuhan. Airborne transmission of tuberculosis is a well known hazard in the centrally ventilated ship cabins, and such mode of transmission cannot be excluded for the current massive outbreak of COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess. We therefore urge our government to discuss with the Japanese government for immediate evacuation of the 330 Hong Kong passengers from the ship onto land for safe transfer by chartered flight back to Hong Kong.


The vast majority of detected COVID-19 cases on the Diamond Princess are either asymptomatic or just having mild non-specific symptoms. In Hong Kong, locally transmitted COVID-19 cases now far exceed imported cases, and silent infectious sources have been repeatedly implicated in these transmissions. We therefore recommend everyone, irrespective of symptoms, to put on a mask to decrease transmission risk in public transport or crowded public places during this critical period.







Notes to editors:

The Hong Kong Medical Association, founded in 1920, aims to bring together Hong Kong's government, institutional, university and private medical practitioners for an effective exchange of views and co-ordination of efforts.  The foremost objective of the Association is to safeguard and promote public health.  The Association speaks collectively for its members and aims to keep its members abreast of medical ethics, issues and advances around the world.  In fulfilling these goals, the association hopes to better serve the people of Hong Kong.