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Keep that mask on, says expert, as one new Covid-19 case detected

04 May 2020

By The SUN

Face masks can protect us from carriers who don't show symptoms, say health experts

A Hong Kong woman who resides in the United States was confirmed positive of the novel coronavirus after she arrived today, May 4, becoming the city’s 1,041st Covid-19 case.

Fine weather and the absence of new local Covid cases for the past two weeks has encouraged many residents, including migrant workers, to go out on their day off to eat and mingle with friends, or do outdoor activities such as swimming or hiking.

By noon Monday, Hong Kong hospitals had released 21 more patients, leaving only 136 still confined. Only one patient remains in critical condition while 7 are serious.
While experts are suggesting that the government should ease some of its social distancing measures now that the picture has improved, health officials say they are not yet 100% sure whether the local infection chain has been broken.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said during today’s press conference that people should continue to wear masks because some patients are asymptomatic or have minor infection. These patients can still cause a local outbreak, she said.

Chuang and Lau set good example by wearing masks during the daily press briefings

“We have now one incubation period left and we now have some comfort that the situation is improving. But I don’t think we are 100% confident we will have another local infection case before we can confirm whether the local infection chain is broken,” she said.

She noted that over the past few days, people had been letting down their guard and going out to beaches and other places.

Chuang warned the public that the risk on public transports is high because they are crowded and some people would remove their masks. She advised the people to wash their hands after taking public transports for their safety.

Some experts are now talking about relaxing restrictions and prohibitions on public gatherings after Hong Kong had gone through more than one incubation period with no local cases, Chuang said.

“I understand the government is studying the issues to see, given the current situation, what are the more balanced measures to take. On the one hand, we want to control the outbreak and, on the other, we want to relax the restrictions imposed on the public,” Chuang said.

On today’s case, Chuang said the 27-year-old patient was sent to Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment after her deep throat saliva specimen was tested positive for the virus at the AsiaWorld Exhibition testing site. 
Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.
“This is a relatively simple imported case,” said Chuang.

She said the patient started showing symptoms on Apr 11 such as loss of smell, sore throat and blocked nose while still in the US. After a week of treatment she was released and came here to visit relatives, Chuang said.

For the past 24 hours until noon Monday, 15 suspected cases were reported and 151 patients were in isolation, Dr Lau Ka-hin from the Hospital Authority said.

Lau said 21 of these cases were confirmed to have recovered and discharged but were readmitted after showing symptoms again.



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