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19 new bar-related cases as HK records highest daily Covid-19 tally

27 March 2020

By The SUN

Insomnia is where a majority of the 27 linked cases have been traced

Hong Kong today (Mar 27) reported a record 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 19 of them being linked to an outbreak in four bars where nearly all of the performers are Filipinos.

Officials of Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection told a news conference today that most of the new cases, or a total of 41, had recent travel history. The rest are locally acquired. A further 15 cases reportedly yielded preliminary positive results for the disease.


Of the 19 additional cases linked to the bars, one involved a band member, nine are staff, and another nine are patrons.

The infected staff included two chefs at All Night Long in Tsim Sha Tsui and a DJ in Insomnia in Lan Kwai Fong in Central. The rest are either staff or food servers at the two other bars, Dusk till Dawn and Centre Stage in Wanchai.
CHP’s head of the communicable disease branch Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said all the bars have already been shut because all their staff members have been quarantined.

An interview by The SUN, however, showed that the bars were closed down as soon as the first infected case, a vocalist who performed regularly in Insomnia, was reported on Mar 23.

Two other bars, Centre Stage and Dusk till Dawn in Wanchai, have also been shut

A total of 124 people reportedly worked in the four bars operated by one company, which also hired the musicians from nine bands who played at the venues, most of them Filipinos. Outside sources have identified the company as Step by Step.

Chuang said that so far 27 staff, including musicians, have already tested positive, along with 16 patrons. Some developed symptoms while under home quarantine.

She said the friends and other close contacts of those who worked in the bars are being sought, and may be quarantined if necessary. 

Asked if the bar cluster amounted to a community outbreak, Chuang said community infection has definitely occurred, “but not to the extent of a community outbreak.”
She said most of the locally acquired cases have epidemiological link to previous cases, and only 1 or 2 cannot be traced to a known source.

Chuang also discounted any link between the bar cluster and Filipino domestic workers who have been infected, citing interviews that showed no interaction between the two sets of cases.
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