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3 new cases linked to Filipino band members infected with Covid-19

25 March 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap

All the Lan Kwai Fong cases have links to Insomnia bar where the band played (TripAdvisor photo)

Three people included in today’s 24 new cases of Covid-19 infection in Hong Kong have been linked to a bar in Lan Kwai Fong where six Filipino musicians who earlier tested positive for the disease had played.

This was disclosed by officers of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection at a press conference this afternoon, Mar 25, as Consul General Raly Tejada affirmed that the six new cases linked yesterday to Insomnia bar in Lan Kwai Fong, are all Filipinos.

Five in yesterday's batch are musicians who played together, and the sixth is a waitress at the bar. Today's new cases include another member of the band, another staff of Insomnia, and a flight attendant who had watched the band play. All are males.

Earlier, the band's vocalist also tested positive for Covid-19.

Congen Tejada inquired with the CHP on the musicians' nationality yesterday, after being told that a newly arrived Filipina domestic worker was included in the day's confirmed cases. However, it took CHP a full day to make the confirmation, citing the big number of patients testing positive in recent days..


Hong Kong’s total tally for Covid-19 now stands at 411. The new patients are made up of 13 men and 11 women, aged between 11 and 57. Among them, 19 have recent travel history, and 6 are international students.

At the press briefing, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of CHP’s communicable disease branch enumerated the four cases linked to Insomnia.

Patient No 389 is said to be with the band whose six other members had previously tested positive for Covid-19. One on Mar 22, and five yesterday.

CHP's patient information bulletin later showed he is male, 43 years old, and lives in Percival House  in Causeway Bay. He developed a fever and headache on Mar 21.

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Patient No 394 is a waiter at Insomnia, and is said to be the first to develop symptoms. He is 28 years old and lives in Yuen Long. He had a cough and sore throat on Mar 10. It is not clear why he did not seek medical help earlier.

Another linked patient, No 411, is a male flight attendant who had visited Insomnia and another bar in Tsim Sha Tsui, All Night Long, where the Filipino band also played. He is said to be a flight attendant at Cathay Pacific Airways, but has not flown for a year. He developed a cough and fever on Mar 20.

Asked if the waiter could have infected all the cluster cases in LKF, Dr Chuang said it would be difficult to infer this, as there were other risk factors, aside from the bar. "So maybe he was was also infected," she said.

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The CHP declined to give the band’s name, citing privacy concerns, but said that aside from Insomnia and All Night Long, the group also played regularly at Centre Stage and Dusk till Dawn in Wanchai.

Congen Tejada said he has yet to get official confirmation about the nationality of the three new cases. 

HKMU's Ela Lo says the stricken band members played at various clubs
Manuela Lo, chairperson of the Hong Kong Musicians Union, says the infected group are not members of her group, but she is willing to intercede for them should they require help.

Lo said the band is made up of mostly young newcomers hired by a company owned by expatriates, which has several outlets in Hong Kong. The band members reportedly perform at the various clubs on a rotation basis.

According to the CHP, some of the band members live together, and at least one couple is married.
Since the outbreak in Lan Kwai Fong was reported, Lo said she has advised HKMU members to take extra precaution when performing. She also told them not to wander around in the areas where the infected musicians had performed.

So far, 17 Filipinos in Hong Kong are confirmed to have the disease, excluding the 3 linked to LKF today. Four have been released from hospital after recovery.

Congen Tejada said he will await for confirmation on the cases, but in the meantime, has repeated an advice for the Filipino community to continue taking precautions.

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