英文

Editorial:An online platform for the GBA is urgently called for

【明報專訊】Recently, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have all experienced a new wave of COVID-19 cases caused by viruses coming from abroad. The three cities have adopted different approaches in response to the cases based on their own conditions. Even if they might not be able to imitate each other's responses, they can at least start by sharing virus information and take the opportunity to set up a Greater Bay Area (GBA) pandemic information platform to exchange information so that governments and the public can all stay informed about the situation within and without their territories.

The pandemic situation is the most serious in Guangzhou. Through a ''dim sum'' cluster in Liwan District, the virus has spread to many other districts. The alert levels of two sub-districts in Liwan have been raised to ''high-risk''. Yesterday (June 6), four other districts became medium-risk areas, while a family of six living in Nansha District have all caught the disease. The chain of transmission has even extended to Foshan, three sub-districts of which have become medium-risk areas. There have also been cases of infection in Zhanjiang and Maoming. In the entire province, the total number of infections is almost 100.

The pandemic situation in Shenzhen is relatively mild. Some dock workers have contracted the virus on cargo ships, and so far, there have been 15 cases of asymptomatic infection. Fortunately, these cases are only confined to Yantian and Longgang districts, which are in the suburbs, and the chains of transmission have been identified. Still, these cases have given citizens a fright.

Hong Kong has just declared that the fourth wave of infections has come to an end. However, the fifth wave has begun to creep in, since a mother and two daughters have been diagnosed or initially diagnosed with COVID-19. As they have been to the community, there are a lot of uncertainties concerning the future development of the pandemic.

The latest pandemic situations in the three cities have been caused by different factors, and the responses have been extremely varied. The Guangzhou authorities have stuck to their original game plan by locking down districts, limiting the movement of people, and conducting mandatory testing to identify potential spreaders of the virus. However, as the Indian variant is highly transmissible and has a shorter incubation period, the Guangzhou authorities have stepped up their contingency measures. The scope of mandatory testing has been expanded continuously from Liwan District to its neighbouring districts to all of the 11 districts in the entire Guangzhou Province. Apart from the orthodox measure of organising the residents of different districts to get them tested on-site, electronic means have also been employed. Those who have stayed near a risky zone or in a place where a patient has been to for more than 20 minutes will have yellow health codes. They must then take a nucleic acid test within 72 hours and get a negative report for their health code to return to green, otherwise their travel will be restricted.

Despite the many similarities between Guangdong and Hong Kong in the recent wave of cases, the measures they have adopted are different. After all, it is impossible to expect them to adopt the same measures. Still, it is possible and not very difficult for the two regions to exchange information in a timely manner. Why do they not create an online platform that offers explanations and conversions for the different methodologies for calculating cases and the technical terms, one that publishes the latest developments and information concerning transportation and others in a timely fashion? For the different municipal governments in the GBA, the platform will enable them to share anti-pandemic measures. For ordinary citizens, the platform will let them get hold of useful travel information. The platform will surely do immeasurable good if it facilitates the integration of the GBA.

明報社評 2021.06.07:港穗深控疫方法各異 急需大灣區分享平台

香港、廣州和深圳近日都因為外來輸入病毒引發新一波疫情。三個城市都基於各自的條件採取不同的應對方法,未必能夠互相仿效,但起碼可以從分享病毒資料做起,趁機成立大灣區疫情資訊平台互通信息,讓政府與民間知己知彼。

疫情最嚴重的是廣州,荔灣區一個「飲茶群組」爆發,市內已經擴散到好幾個區,荔灣區兩個片區上升為高風險地區,昨天又增加了4個中風險地區,南沙區也有一家六口感染,傳播鏈更延伸到佛山,三個片區成為中風險地區,還有湛江和茂名都發現感染個案。全省總體感染個案已經接近100個。

深圳的疫情較為輕微,碼頭工人在貨輪上感染病毒,至今累計有15宗無症狀感染個案,所幸只是局限在郊區的鹽田和龍崗區,而且都找到傳播鏈,但也造成風聲鶴唳。

香港剛宣布第四波疫情結束,第五波疫情的腳步聲已經走近,現在是母女三人確診或初步確診,她們曾經走入社區,未來發展仍存在很大變數。

三地疫情成因各異,應對措施更加是千差萬別,廣州按照既定預案,封區限制人員流動和強檢找出潛在傳播者,但由於變種印度病株的特點,傳播力強和潛伏期短,廣州採取了加碼的應變措施,不斷擴大強檢範圍,從荔灣區展開到周邊區份,再到全廣州11個區全民強檢,不單是從傳統的由各區組織所轄居民就地檢測,還用電子手段,曾在風險地區附近以及確診者曾經活動的地方逗留超過20分鐘的人,健康碼全部變成黃色,他們必須在72小時內參與核酸檢測並得到陰性報告,健康碼才會變回綠色,否則出行都會受到限制。

粵港兩地在最近一波疫情有很多相似的地方,但應對疫情的措施不盡相同,也不可能要求一致,但及時互通信息總是可以的,也沒有什麼難度,為什麼不可以從建立一個網上平台開始,將感染數據的統計方法和一些專有名詞加以解釋及轉換,及時公布交通出行等最新的動態和資訊,對於大灣區內各個市政府而言,是交流應對疫情措施的平台,對一般市民而言,是掌握出行的有用資料,若能因此而促進大灣區融合,實是功德無量。

■/ Glossary / 生字 /

fright /fraɪt/

an experience that makes you feel fear

creep in:to begin to happen or affect sth

incubation /ˌɪŋkjuˈbeɪʃn/

the time between sb being infected with a disease and the appearance of the first symptoms

■英語社評聲檔:link.mingpao.com/53000.htm

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