23 Jan 2020

Update on pneumonia cases of novel coronavirus infection

23 Jan 2020

As of 22 January 2020, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has received reports of a total of 135 suspected cases fulfilling the reporting criteria. 97 reported cases have been ruled out as novel coronavirus infection and were discharged already. The remaining 38 cases were hospitalised including 2 cases with preliminary positive results for novel coronavirus.

As of 23 January 2020, 9am, according to the National Health Commission and health authorities of overseas countries, the global number of cases is 579 (Mainland China: 571, other countries/areas: 8). Among the 571 cases in Mainland China, 95 cases were in serious condition and 17 were fatal cases. Some countries and provinces in the Mainland, such as Guangdong, Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Korea and United States, have reported cases of novel coronavirus infection, but there is so far no evidence of possible community transmission of novel coronavirus infection in these countries/areas.

In view of the latest situation and risk assessment, the CHP will enhance surveillance of suspected cases and revise the reporting criteria of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent. The University Health Service will follow the revised reporting criteria and closely monitor the health surveillance on campus. The Committee on Health Promotion and Protection (CHPP) continues to monitor the latest development and take appropriate prevention and control measures according to the CHP’s recommendations.

  1. Cleaning is stepped up throughout the campus. School buses, toilets, public and hostel areas have already increased the frequency of daily cleanings. Frontline staff of security, school bus drivers, and EMO staff will wear masks while on duty.
  2. Health declaration form and Self medical surveillance form (with immediate effect)
  3. Our university has launched a medical surveillance, all cases of suspected or confirmed pneumonia cases of novel coronavirus infection should be reported to our CHPP Information Co-ordinator.The university will make appropriate arrangements accordingly.

All university members are reminded to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene to prevent pneumonia and respiratory tract infection: 

  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes; after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs; or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
  • Maintain drainage pipes properly and regularly (about once a week) pour about half a liter of water into each drain outlet (U-traps) to ensure environmental hygiene;
  • Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with water and dry with a disposable paper towel. If hand washing facilities are not available, or when hands are not visibly soiled, performing hand hygiene with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub is an effective alternative;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of soiled tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly; and
  • When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, refrain from work or attending class at school, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly.

Please take heed of the health advice below when travelling outside Hong Kong: 

  • Avoid close contact with persons with fever or respiratory symptoms in countries/areas with possible transmission of the novel coronavirus infection. If it is unavoidable to come into contact with them, put on a surgical mask and continue to do so until 14 days after returning to Hong Kong;
  • Avoid visiting hospitals. If it is necessary to visit a hospital, put on a surgical mask and observe strict personal and hand hygiene;
  • Avoid touching animals (including game), poultry/birds or their droppings;
  • Avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms;
  • Avoid making close contact with patients, especially those with symptoms of acute respiratory infections;
  • Do not consume game meat and do not patronise food premises where game meat is served;
  • Adhere to food safety and hygiene rules such as avoiding consuming raw or undercooked animal products, including milk, eggs and meat, or foods which may be contaminated by animal secretions, excretions (such as urine) or contaminated products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled;
  • If feeling unwell when outside Hong Kong, especially if experiencing a fever or cough, wear a surgical mask, inform the hotel staff or tour escort and seek medical advice at once; and
  • After returning to Hong Kong, consult a doctor promptly if experiencing a fever or other symptoms, take the initiative to inform the doctor of any recent travel history and any exposure to animals, and wear a surgical mask to help prevent spread of the disease. 

For enquiries, please call our CHPP Information Co-ordinator at 3943 6436 (office hours) or email to

To further understand the preventive measures of various units of the University, please refer to the Serious Response Level of CHPP website:

CHPP Preventive Recommendations:

Fact sheet on Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent:

Information on the affected countries/areas is available from the following webpage:

Latest situation of reported cases of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent: