In the elevator

9
Dahlan Iskan Former Minister for State-owned Enterprises

IO – Finally, there were two people who live outside of China who died from the Wuhan virus. One was in the Philippines, and another in Hong Kong.

Both are from China. Specifically, from Hubei Province, whose capital city is Wuhan.

Evidently, the number who die is about 2 percent of those infected. That percentage never changes. Meanwhile, the number of infected people continues to grow. It’s already exceeded the SARS infection record 18 years ago.

The victims who died from the infection are already more than half the number of SARS victims. Especially in China, the dead already exceeded SARS.

80 percent of the fatalities are in Wuhan city – a place where fish and wild animals were sold in one of the wet markets there.

Another interesting figure: 80 percent who die are over 60 years old. And they are people who have difficulty breathing or poor blood sugar.

The numbers somehow made the panic subside. Before the mass panic was so severe that the masks covering nose and mouth sold out everywhere. Even my friends there asked me to send masks from Indonesia.

The other factor that managed to calm the mass panic was Professor Kenneth Tsang’s written explanation. He is a respiratory disease expert in Hong Kong.

Kenneth Tsang opened a practice in Hong Kong but there are many conditions; only for people who have made an appointment beforehand. The charge is IDR 4 million per session.

He is a doctor with so many patients.

Professor Kenneth’s writing alludes to the masks. Especially who is actually required to wear a mask.

“The person who has to wear the mask is a person affected by the virus,” he wrote.

Namely so that if the person coughs, the saliva would not spread everywhere.

The professor also warned that the Wuhan virus is not contagious. To be able to contract the disease, the viruses from animals or other people must get into our breathing apparatus.

For example, if we come in contact with people who suffer from viruses, it does not automatically cause us to contract the disease.

Suppose a patient splashes saliva on his hands. Then we nudge his hand. And the virus in his saliva moves into our hands. That will not necessarily transmit the virus. As long as we don’t move the virus from our hands to our mouth, nose, or eyes. For example, reflexively putting our hand to our mouth, nose, or eyes.

Professor Kenneth won people’s trust in Hong Kong. He turned out to be one of the doctors who had dealt with Professor Liu Jianlun when the professor from Guangzhou became the largest SARS transmitter worldwide.

It was when Professor Liu went to Hong Kong. He had to accompany his wife to attend the marriage of one of his cousins, even though at that time the professor already felt unwell, after days of dealing with patients in one hospital in Guangzhou.

That night Professor Liu stayed at the Metropole Hotel, Kowloon, Hongkong. Many people choose Metropole because the rates are cheaper than hotels on Hong Kong Island.

If we compare it to New York, then Kowloon is the Queen’s area. While the island of Hong Kong is the island of Manhattan. Metropole is a favorite three-star hotel at that time.

After attending his cousin’s marriage, Professor Liu no longer had the strength to carry on with his activity. He walked towards the hospital near the hotel. That’s where Professor Liu was diagnosed with SARS.

16 people who stayed on the 9th floor of the Metropole Hotel were infected. They returned to their respective countries. Infected with SARS. And transmitting it.

In the case of the Wuhan virus, there are no external factors like Professor Liu. So, most victims were in Wuhan, more than 80 percent in fact.

The big city of Wuhan is indeed not as internationally acclaimed as the City of Guangzhou or Hong Kong.

The location of Wuhan is also in the interior. While Guangzhou is so close to Hong Kong – 3 hours trip by car.

Since the Metropole Hotel case, the elevatorhas been in the spotlight. Most likely the professor coughed heavily in the elevator. He coughed countless times. There is a possibility of saliva sticking to the elevator. It might be sticking on the elevator’s wall or on the elevator button.

The virus attached to it moves to the hands of others. The hand then rubs the nose or mouth or eyes. The virus moves to the breathing apparatus and enters it.

Since then, my good friend in Singapore, Robert Lai, has always taught me the procedures for getting into an elevator. For example, never press a button with your fingertips. He asked to bend my index finger. Then the outer edge of the bend is used to press the button.

Robert always does things like that. Until now. Sometimes I remember – if I’m with him again.