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HK ban on non-residents now indefinite, as Covid-19 cases soar past 900

06 April 2020

By The SUN

Passenger arrivals at HK Airport has dwindled to a few hundreds after the govt banned entry of non-residents

Hong Kong has extended “until further notice” its ban on all non-residents flying in from overseas. The ban, originally imposed for only 14 days from Mar 25, was supposed to last only until tomorrow, Apr. 7.

A government spokesman announced the move late tonight, as the city’s number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 breached the 900-mark.

A total of 24 new cases were reported today, raising Hong Kong’s total tally to 914.

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The new cases include a foreign domestic helper who traveled to Britain with her employers, two young boys whose mother works for a bar in Tsim Sha Tsui, and a musician who played in the same bar.

As in recent days, a majority, or 18 of the new cases had travel history. They included five who were among those airlifted from Peru yesterday, three are international students, and the domestic worker.

Records from the Centre for Health Protection show that the 39-year-old helper whose nationality has not been disclosed, was in the United Kingdom along with her employers, between Mar 11 and Apr 1, when they returned to Hong Kong.

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The helper proceeded to self-quarantine at her employer’s house at Island Crest in Sai Ying Pun on arrival, but developed a sore throat and cough on the same day.

Two sons of a woman who works at All Night Long in Tsim Sha Tsui, aged 3 and 8, also tested positive today, after developing a fever on Mar. 27 at their home in Oi Man Estate in Homantin. Their mother was found infected earlier. Both boys were confined at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yaumatei.

A related case is that of a 56-year-old male employee of the same bar who was tested despite not showing any symptoms. He is now in isolation at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, and his four close contacts put under quarantine.


Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.
 

Another bar-related case is that of a 44-year-old musician, who is part of a several bands that played in All Night Long, Insomnia in Central, and Centre Stage and Dusk Till Dawn in Wanchai. He was asymptomatic when tested for the virus.
 
A waitress in this TST bar, now closed, infected her sons, aged 3 and 8

One of the six local cases is a worker at a food outlet of Marks & Spencer in Windsor House, Causeway Bay. The 48-year-old man had a mild runny nose since Mar 23 and worked until Mar 28 but with a face mask, reports said. His wife developed similar symptoms on Mar 27 and tested positive on Apr 2.

The man went without a mask to a farewell karaoke party for a colleague on Mar 25 at the CEO Neway karaoke lounge in Causeway Bay. All the other party-goers were considered close contacts after two of them developed symptoms. They are now in a hospital while the rest are in quarantine centers.

Previously, seven people and a relative of one of them were confirmed infected after visiting a karaoke lounge run by RedMR in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of communicable diseases at the Centre for Health Protection, said people who develop mild symptoms should visit a doctor as soon as possible and avoid going to work.

Among the 18 imported cases are the five locals who had been stranded in Peru. They were among more than 60 residents who had been stranded there and flown back by the Hong Kong government on Sunday.

Meanwhile, six local residents were fined $2,000 each Monday after refusing to break up a game of chess in breach of social-distancing laws. They were the first violators of the city’s ban on public gatherings of more than four people imposed o Mar 29.
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The men, aged 52-68, were chess players and observers caught in Kwai Shing East Estate in Kwai Chung shortly before 4pm on Sunday.

As of this writing, the global tally of Covid-19 cases approached 1.3 million with 70,000 deaths and nearly 262 recovered.

The tally in the United States climbed to nearly 350,000 cases and more than 9.600 deaths. Spain followed with more than 135,000 cases and over 13,000 deaths.

The death toll in Italy approached 16,000 from a tally of close to 130,000 infected with the coronavirus.

In the Philippines, the number of cases reached 3,660 while the death toll was 163.
 
Airline crew are exempted on the ban on non-residents, but not a lot of them fly into HK now

Under the travel restrictions imposed by Hong Kong on Mar 25 which have now been extended indefinitely, the following rules apply:

   • All non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas countries and regions by plane will be denied entry to Hong Kong;
     • Non-Hong Kong residents coming from the Mainland, Macao and Taiwan will be denied entry to Hong Kong if they have been to any overseas countries and regions in the past 14 days;
     • All transit services at Hong Kong International Airport will be suspended; and
     • All travellers coming from Macau and Taiwan, including Hong Kong and non-Hong Kong residents, will be subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine, which is the same as the arrangements for people entering Hong Kong from the Mainland.
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