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Bars and pubs to shut down from 6pm on Friday, Apr 3

03 April 2020

By The SUN

Most bars  in Lan Kwai Fong have shut down even before the order to close was issued today

Hong Kong has ordered the closure of bars and pubs for two weeks starting at 6pm tomorrow, Apr 3, as part of measures to control the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The directive was published in the government gazette today, Apr 2.

“Any premises that is exclusively or mainly used for the sale or supply of intoxicating liquors…for consumption in that premises must be closed,” it said.
Even sections or bars found inside restaurants or clubhouses that mainly serve alcohol must be closed.

Violators face a fine of up to $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

In a statement, the government said the new measure was taken because of 62 cases of Covid-19 cases directly linked to bars, and 14 of their close contacts, including a 40-day-old baby boy.
Yesterday, karaoke bars were also ordered shut after seven people who went to the Tsim Sha Tsui branch of MRRED karaoke all tested positive for Covid-19. A relative of one of them was also infected.

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said the prohibition may extend to beauty parlors, after two more cases of beauticians getting infected were reported today.

One of them is a friend and colleague of another beautician who tested positive on Wednesday.
However, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Center for Health said the two did not work together in the same Tsim Sha Tsui branch of the salon that offered reenex, a facial laser technology. But they had gone surfing and hiking together in March.

The other infected beautician works at New Beauty in Causeway Bay.
Health officials say the closure order may extend to beauty parlors, after 3 beauticians were found infected
Chuang said health investigators suspect the salon was the origin of infection.

“We could not find other high-risk factors so far,” she said in the CHP’s daily press briefing.

“People should avoid unnecessary gatherings. They should really avoid activities that involve close contact. I think not many activities are essential, going to beauty parlors is not,” Chuang said.

The CHP reported 37 new confirmed coronavirus infections today, bringing the total number of cases in Hong Kong to 802.
Of the new cases, 30 had traveled overseas, including a 2-year-old child who visited Sweden with family members. Seventeen of the new patients are returning overseas students.

Chuang said that among the seven local transmissions was a man who caught the virus during a workout at the F45 Training gym in Wong Chuk Hang, where a member tested positive on Apr 1.

There was no direct contact between the two infected gym-goers, but the wife of the latest patient was the trainer of the other male customer.

Meanwhile, the Health Department officially informed the Consulate on Apr 2 that two Filipino Covid-19 patients had recovered and been discharged from the hospital.

They brought to six the number of Filipinos who have been released after recovering from the illness.

The Consulate said in a statement that 17 other Filipinos infected with Covid-19 remain in hospital.

“Our kababayans composed of 9 females and 8 males are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Hong Kong. The Philippine Consulate General is extending all necessary assistance to them,” the statement said.

The Consulate again urged Filipinos to observe social distancing.

“We appeal to the Filipino community in Hong Kong to stay at home whenever possible. Avoid crowded places when going out and follow recent regulation on social distancing that bans the gathering of more than 4 people in public places,” the Consulate said.

In another development, the chairman of the Hong Kong Medical Association’s advisory committee on communicable diseases stepped up pressure on the government to also close beauty and massage parlors for two weeks.

“Masks work, taking temperatures work, but those measures are not 100%. There’s still a chance of the virus spreading from the mask to hands, and if a person is getting a facial there is no way for them to wear masks,” Dr Leung Chi-chiu said.

“Beauticians and masseuses also take care of many customers a day, which increases the risk of cross-contamination,” Leung said.

This was supported by Dr David Hui Shu-cheong, who spoke at a coronavirus update forum hosted by the Asia Society of Hong Kong.

As of this writing, Covid-19 cases has risen past 930,000 with the total death toll approaching 47,000.

The United States, the new epicenter of the contagion, has reported nearly 220,000 infections and more than 5,000 deaths.

Italy’s tally of confirmed infections surged past 110,000 while its death toll rose to over 13,000. Spain was closing in on Italy with over 100,000 infections and 9,000 deaths.

The Philippines’ Covid-19 cases had risen to 2,633 with the death toll climbing to 107.

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