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Some flats in housing estate evacuated amid Covid-19 spread

04 June 2020

By The SUN

Those evacuated and put under quarantine are residents of flats 12 and 10 in Luk Shuen House, Lek Yuen estate

Health officials have ordered the evacuation of some residents in Luk Chuen House at Lek Yuen estate in Shatin, after another person living in the building tested preliminary positive today, Jun 4.

Six people living in the building have tested positive for Covid-19, and one of them appears to have infected three other people.

The move came as five additional cases were confirmed today, all involving residents who flew into Hong Kong from Bangladesh yesterday. They brought Hong Kong’s tally to 1,098, with four deaths.

According to Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan at today’s press briefing, all those who live in flats numbered 10 and 12 in Luk Chuen House were evacuated and sent to a quarantine center for observation.

People living in three flats numbered 12, as well as a resident of one numbered 10, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Checks conducted in the building earlier ruled out a problem with the sewage pipes, but the officials today said this angle is being looked into again, after a 72-year-old man living in a flat numbered 12 showed initial signs of infection.

“We will inspect in detail whether there are other problems, such as sewage pipes, with those flats,” said Chuang.

Undersecretary for the environment Tse Chin-wan said architectural drawings showed the affected flats numbered 12 and 10 were connected to the same vent pipe and faced the same direction.

“We cannot rule out that the pipe was another route of transmission,” Tse said. He added it could be the virus spread from flats numbered 12 to those numbered 10.

According to Chuang, the elderly man who tested preliminary positive, lives with his wife and a daughter in a flat numbered 12 on the 11th floor.

His initial test result tested negative on Monday, but he developed a mild fever on Wednesday afternoon and was sent to hospital on Thursday morning, where he was tested again, and was found infected.
The index patient in the cluster remains in critical condition in Prince of Wales Hospital

The first case in the cluster is a 34-year-old woman who works at a Kerry Logistics warehouse in Kwai Chung and lives in a flat three floors below the man. She was sent to Prince of Wales Hospital in Shatin on Saturday, where she remains in critical condition.

Also found infected were her husband, four of her neighbors, two of her colleagues, and the medical worker who attended to her before she was sent to hospital.

Health officials left about 1,900 sample bottles for residents in her building, and about 1,200 have been sent back for testing. All, except the cases reported earlier, tested negative for the virus.

Chuang said residents in six flats have not been located, although there is a possibility that they had left Hong Kong before the infection broke out. But she said they had sought police help to locate the missing residents so they can be tested.

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