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Filipina DH quarantined after sharing flat with 2 coronavirus patients

26 January 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap

Lake Silver in Ma On Shan, where the Filipina shared a flat with HK's 4th and 5th known coronavirus cases

A Filipina domestic worker in Ma On Shan was put under quarantine yesterday, Jan. 25, after two of her employer’s house guests tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, the fourth and fifth such confirmed cases in Hong Kong.

The information was confirmed today, Jan 26, by Consul General Raly Tejada, who said the Filipina was healthy and showed no signs of infection.

“However, she was contact traced to her employer’s two guests in Ma On Shan who were tested positive,” said CG Tejada. “Given Hong Kong’s strict protocols and heightened emergency alert, even healthy individuals maybe subjected to quarantine procedures if there is proof of contact.”
He assured that the Consulate is in close contact with the HK Department of Health and will extend assistance to the worker if necessary.

“We are hoping she remains healthy and eventually released,” he said.

He added the Consulate is ready to help any Filipino needing assistance.

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It is not clear how long the Filipina would be quarantined. It is the first reported case of a Filipino being affected by the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus, which was first traced to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam yesterday raised the highest emergency level for Hong Kong, saying the situation had reached a “critical point,” two days after Hong Kong’s first two confirmed cases.
It's mask season in HK again as the CE raises emergency alert level
She also confirmed reports schools across the city would reopen on Feb. 17, two weeks later than was previously announced.

The annual Hong Kong marathon, scheduled for Feb 5 and 6, has also been scrapped, to prevent large numbers of people congregating. All public celebrations of the Lunar New Year have also been shelved for the same reasons.

And today, Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland announced they would close indefinitely in response to the heightened response to the contagion.
Ocean Park and HK Disneyland have closed down as part of emergency measures
The Hospital Authority also ordered the suspension of all general visiting arrangements, volunteer services and clinical attachment programs at public hospitals.

However, Mrs Lam rejected calls for the border with the mainland to be closed, saying such a move would be “inappropriate and impractical.”

The heightened alert in Hong Kong echoes steps taken by most major cities across China, including Beijing and Shanghai, as the rate of contamination continued to mount.

As of this morning, more than 2,000 people have tested positive for the virus nationwide, with at least 56 confirmed deaths.

Wuhan and most other cities in Hubei have been locked down to contain the spread of the virus, trapping millions of people inside the affected area.

In response, several countries, including the United States, France and Russia have begun taking steps to evacuate their trapped nationals from Wuhan, where medical supplies are reported to be running low, while thousands of people swarm hospitals for check-ups and treatments.

There are more than 11 million people in Wuhan, and 58.5 million in the entire Hubei province.

In other parts of the world, the number of confirmed cases mounts by the day, although all have been traced back to Wuhan so far.

Reports indicate some patients did not show the usual symptoms, including a two-year-old boy in Shenzhen who had no fever, cough or sore throat, but tests showed he had pneumonia and was  positive for the coronavirus.

The latest to report a confirmed case was Canada, which described the patient as a man in his 50s who recently flew from Wuhan to Guangzhou, then on to Toronto on Jan. 23.

Singapore and Malaysia confirmed four cases each Saturday, and Japan, its third. France reported three cases Friday, the first in Europe; and the US reported a second case, that of a woman who had returned to Chicago from China.

Hong Kong also confirmed its latest three cases Saturday, after reporting the first two on Friday.

The latest cases involved the 62-year-old woman and her 63-year-old husband in Ma On Shan, who had been in Wuhan within two weeks before getting sick. They were taken to Prince of Wales Hospital in Shatin where they are still being treated.

They stayed in a flat in Lake Silver in Ma On Shan with their daughter and the Filipina helper. Their daughter was also taken to hospital with fever, while the Filipina who was quarantined did not show any symptoms.

Earlier on the same day, another 62-year-old woman tested positive at Tuen Mun Hospital. She arrived in Hong Kong on Jan. 19 from Shenzhen North Station, and developed a fever and cough the next day. She had been to a wet market and visited a relative in a hospital in Wuhan who was admitted with cough.

Her husband, daughter and son-in-law with whom she stayed in a flat in South Hillcrest in Tuen Mun have been quarantined although they were all asymptomatic.

The first confirmed case in Hong Kong was a 39-year-old mainland tourist who had taken the high speed train from Wuhan to Shenzhen, and then on to Hong Kong on Thursday, Jan 23. He was found with fever at the West Kowloon station.

His four family members went on to spend the night at the Empire Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, then flew out the next morning to Manila aboard Cebu Pacific 5J111. Philippine health authorities said they were not tested for the virus as they did not have fever on arrival.

The second confirmed case is a 56-year-old Hong Kong resident who had visited Wuhan. He submitted himself for tests at the Prince of Wales Hospital after experiencing a slight fever.

Hong Kong health authorities said three people who had been in close contact with the two had been placed in hospital quarantine. Another five people had been put in quarantine at one of two holiday camps set for the purpose: Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung, and Lei Yue Mun Park.
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