Despite being one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Hong Kong’s coronavirus strategy has kept its COVID-19 mortality rate remarkably low.
The city has had ample time to learn. Bearing witness to the 1968 flu pandemic that originated in China and the 2003 SARS epidemic has trained the city to handle outbreaks such as the coronavirus through the quick and efficient implementation of fac masks.
This is all in spite of region chief executive Carrie Lam’s reportedly slow response to the disease, waiting to close city borders and take other preventative measures.
The people of Hong Kong have taken it upon themselves to monitor the disease, ensuring people aren’t able to sell fake and ineffective personal protective equipment and making sure resources are adequately allocated among the citizens. By co-opting the networks established in the 2019 revolution, citizens of Hong Kong, according to The Atlantic, have been able to communicate directly and effectively to combat misinformation about the virus.
Perhaps motivated by the past SARS epidemic, the wearing of masks was a choice made by the citizens long before any state official could proclaim an order.
The second wave of coronavirus which made its presence known in the city in late February has also motivated people to continue wearing masks. As their mortality count remains in the single digits, the number of infections has barely risen above 1,000.
As this second wave fades, Lam has announced a relaxation in safety measures which would allow small gatherings of people and some small businesses to reopen. However, Lam is still asking citizens to be cautious.
“I must stress that this epidemic may come back,” Lam said, according to CNN. “As the WHO said not long ago, we must remain vigilant.”