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World-Wide House says info on visit of infected woman came from CHP

13 April 2020

UPDATED


Thousands of people pack World-Wide House mall on Sundays and public holidays

World-Wide House in Central has affirmed receiving official information that a woman infected with Covid-19 did visit its building on Apr 8, while under  home quarantine.

The building management made the clarification after a spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Health Department’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) told The SUN in a phone conversation that they did not have such a record.

The woman, identified as patient no 981, arrived in Hong Kong in the afternoon of Apr 8, and apparently went straight to World-Wide House on the same day, before undergoing mandatory quarantine in her home in Taipo.

While she did not show any symptoms, she tested positive on Apr 10, and was taken to North District Hospital.

World-Wide House staff said today, Apr 14, that they got official confirmation about the visit from the CHP itself. They also said their building is listed in the CHP's official website for infected places.




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But earlier, a CHP spokeswoman who answered their hotline said there is no such record of a woman who visited World-Wide House while under quarantine, adding that this would have merited censure as it amounted to a serious violation of government rules.

“Please only check our official website for any information on the cases,” she said.

Despite this, the World-Wide advisory said in an advisory on Apr 12 that it recognized the concern of shop occupants, and has therefore ordered a “thorough cleaning and disinfection of public areas and facilities (of the building) immediately.
 
World-Wide management's advisory affirming reports that an infected woman had visited the building

World-Wide Plaza, the building’s shopping mall, attracts thousands of Filipino domestic workers on weekends and public holidays. Over the four-day Easter break, the mall was reportedly crammed with people who took advantage of the good weather and a big dip in Hong Kong’s daily infection toll to venture out.



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Over the past few days, talk has been rife in the community about a supposed infected person being at World-Wide, particularly at a remittance shop there. But the story varied from person to person, with some saying the patient was of South Asian origin, and that she was a staff at the shop. Others said she was a Filipina customer.

The owner of the shop has reportedly got so angry at the rumor that he has threatened to sue those who have been passing it on.

Shopkeepers are afraid the story will further drive customers away
Many shopkeepers at the mall are already reeling from the double impact of the anti-government protests last year and the coronavirus outbreak that started early this year, which have kept many of their customers away.

One shop owner says having World-Wide tagged as a possible source of infection could result in even greater hardship for them.

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