This latest Covid-19 outbreak has largely concerned outbreaks at dance studios. We believe that everyone is now aware that all group “contact” activities (including dancing), especially without the use of masks, are not advisable.
The government has so far responded proportionately with new measures including closing bars, prohibiting live music/dancing and introducing better contact tracing via QR codes. We will have a better fix on how significant this outbreak actually is (and how effective contact tracing and quarantining has been) by the end of next week. We expect the government to increase mandatory testing and to extend that to include symptomatic patients attending private doctors. If cases remain on an upward trend, we will likely see a significant increase in restrictions prior to Christmas.
At Central Health we are increasing vigilance and infection control procedures in all our clinics.
Not surprisingly over the last 2 months, with lower infection rates and with many of us experiencing pandemic fatigue, adherence to good hygiene and distancing protocols may have declined. However, it is now of prime importance to reset and revert to those practices which allowed us to be so successful at limiting both the humanitarian and economic damage of the pandemic in Hong Kong.
Remember the W’s to reduce Covid-19:
Wash your hands
Wear your mask
Watch your distance
Where possible stay at home and avoid unnecessary contact.
If you are worried about possible exposure or want extra reassurance during a current illness, we can organise both laboratory PCR testing from deep throat saliva samples and rapid tests from direct swabs to the nose and/or throat. For either of these tests we recommend a virtual consultation with your doctor as the first step to decide whether home or office testing is safe and appropriate.
TELEPHONE CONTACT IMPROVEMENTS – WHATSAPP FOR APPOINTMENTS
It has been an extremely busy time for our clinics with an unprecedented number of calls to our receptionists. We understand how important it is for patients to be able to reach us when they need to, especially for booking appointments and urgent enquiries. We have therefore created a new service which will respond to WhatsApp messages requesting routine/next day appointments and confirm those bookings. The service is available starting next week for new and existing patients, from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday.
The new appointment only number is 6101 7673.
For any other enquiry, or more complex bookings, please use the usual phone and email contacts https://www.centralhealth.com.hk/ and for medical emergencies please follow our emergency advice https://www.centralhealth.com.hk/contact-us/emergency-contacts-doctors/
These measures, together with an increased number of phone lines and the addition of more receptionists, should ensure that even at peak times enquiries can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. We are monitoring the new measures carefully so if you do have any problems please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure immediate follow up.
VITAMIN D AND COVID-19
We recommended taking vitamin D supplements in our earliest updates back in March since then increasing evidence has confirmed the benefits of Vit D supplements in reducing the severity of Covid-19 infections.
In a recent study more than 80% of hospitalized patients were found to be deficient and have lower levels than the population-based controls.
Perhaps even more significant is the emerging randomized trials that show its positive effect in the treatment of people admitted with Covid-19 infection. A study in October in Spain demonstrated that administration of high doses of vitamin D significantly reduced the need for ICU treatment of patients requiring hospitalization. In fact, the risk went from 50% in the non-treatment group to 2% in those treated with Vitamin D.
If you think you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency or have any metabolic or nutritional disorders that increase your risk of excessively high calcium, a blood test and consultation with your GP is recommended. For everyone else we would recommend all adults take at least a 2000IU daily dose.