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Another newly arrived Filipina among 43 new Covid-19 cases in HK

03 April 2020

By The SUN

There are now 4 Filipinas who flew in from Manila who have tested positive for Covid-19 in HK

A 52-year-old Filipina who has just returned from a vacation in the Philippines is one of 43 people in Hong Kong confirmed to have been infected by the coronavirus disease today, Apr 3, according to the Department of Health.

She has become the fourth Filipino to test positive after flying in from Manila on Apr 1.

Records from the Center for Health Protection show that the Filipina was asymptomatic but tested positive while under quarantine at Chung King Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Three other infected Filipinas came from different places, brought there by their employers; one from the United Kingdom, another from Turkey, and the most recent, from the United States.


Also among the new cases are five linked to the bars in Central, Wanchai and Tsim Sha Tsui from where around 80 people have been infected so far.

The new cases brought the city’s total to 845. Of these, 626 remain in hospitals. Eight are in critical condition, and nine in serious condition.

Globally, the number of people infected with the virus has passed the million mark, with the death toll nearing 55,000.
Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said in today’s press briefing that the helper was one of 34 patients who had traveled to other countries recently.

Seven of the 20 locally acquired cases are tied to bars, bolstering a move by the authorities to close from 6pm tonight all establishments that serve alcoholic drinks as part of the government’s social distancing measures to contain the epidemic.

Chuang said five of the new cases are tied to previously named bars in a cluster involving bar staff and musicians, as well as patrons.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

One of the patients visited All Night Long in Tsim Sha Tsui, while one other was a friend of a confirmed infected person who had been to Insomnia in Central. Two performers and a bar employee were also among Friday’s patients.  

Also part of the bar cluster are Dusk till Dawn and Centre Stage in Wanchai.

Insomnia in Lan Kwai Fong was where the first bar infection was detected 

However, two new patients both had travel history, and had visited a bar. The first visited Tazmania Ballroom in Lan Kwai Fong, and the other, La Cabane on Hollywood Road, both in Central.

Meanwhile, the move to close down bars has left many owners confused, saying the government was not clear on whether the targeted premises are those that exclusively or mainly sell or supply liquors for consumption.

They noted that due to a lack of clarity on how the social distancing law will be enforced, restaurants that also serve alcoholic drinks could be at risk of being shut.

Owners of businesses that violate the ban also face a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months in jail.

Gordon Lam Sui-wa, convenor of the Hong Kong Small and Middle Restaurant Federation, was reported by a local newspaper as saying that 1,100 bars would definitely close as selling alcohol was their business.

But those in uncertain situation are drinking venues also that also serve food and categorized as “bar and restaurants” on their liquor license, a grey area on which many of these businesses fall.

Asked about the issue at today’s press briefing, Dr Chui Tak-yi, undersecretary for Food and Health, said that the government ban covers bars and pubs because of their close setting and cramped configuration that do not engender social distancing.

Also covered by the ban are gatherings in premises or businesses that violate the law governing social distancing, Chui said.

He said activities in these establishments will be monitored in line with the government’s position to minimize social gatherings as a measure to contain the contagion.

But he said the government will only give out advice and warnings initially, because “ the public needs time to adjust.”

If the warnings are ignored, “then there will be enforcement,” he said.

Earlier this week, the government ordered the closure of karaoke lounges, mahjong parlours and clubhouses. That came after the first batch of public places that attract large crowds, including cinemas, gaming centers, saunas, fitness centres, party rooms and pool halls, were shut on Mar 28.

Meanwhile, the government has urged the public to avoid going to cemeteries tomorrow, Saturday, for the traditional sweeping of ancestors’ graves during the Ching Ming Festival.

“Doing so can lessen crowd conditions and reduce close contact, thereby reducing the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus through social contact,” a government spokesman said

Members of the public should also abide by the group gathering regulation that limits groupings to four people, unless they live in the same household, and to keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other groups.

Hong Kong’s strict laws on social gatherings come amid the coronavirus pandemic which has infected more than 1 million people worldwide, and claimed the lives of about 55,000 others. More than 200,000 have recovered.

In the new epicenter, the United States, the number of cases was nearing 250,000 with the death toll at 6,000. Italy was trailing the US with over 115,000 cases and about 14,000 deaths, while Spain is third, with more than 110,000 infections and 10,000 deaths.

In the Philippines, the tally as of today is 3,018 cases and 136 deaths.

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