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38 new Covid-19 cases reported in HK, including 2 Filipino sailors

10 July 2020

By The SUN

At least 3 Filipino seafarers have tested positive for the virus while on brief stop in HK

Fears of a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Hong Kong have continued to grow, as health officials today reported 38 new cases, 32 of them locally acquired.

The continuing surge in cases has led the Education Bureau to order the early closure of schools from kindergarten up to secondary, starting on Monday. But schools are given the chance to go ahead with scheduled tests next week, or postpone them for several months.

Yesterday saw the biggest daily tally of local transmissions, with 38 of the 42 new confirmed cases not having left Hong Kong during the incubation period.
Of the new cases reported today, Jul 10, six are recent arrivals, at least two of them Filipino seafarers. They brought Hong Kong’s total tally to 1,403.

Nine cases could not be traced to any known source, and Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection says these are a cause for great concern, as the outbreak now is more widespread than during the previous surge in March,

“During that period, (many of the cases) were linked, and we can find a source, and those unlinked cases are only sporadic cases, so we can still locate them and still stop the spread. But in recent cases, I think the spread is much wider,” said Chuang.
She also warned that the recent infections that could not be linked to any previous cases could potentially lead to a wider community outbreak.
Chuang and Ho: More hospital beds are being readied to cope with a possible surge in cases

Among the new imported cases are at least two Filipino seamen who had flown to Hong Kong to board their freighter. The first arrived yesterday aboard Cathay Pacific flight CX and tested positive at the airport.

The second came on Jul 7, along with two other Filipino seafarers who tested positive for the virus the next day. The latest patient was found infected after he developed a fever yesterday. All three are now receiving treatment at the hospital.

Also among the imported cases is a new arrival from India who tested positive on the twelfth day of his quarantine, a pilot from Kazakhstan who had already left for the United States when his test sample showed he was positive for the virus, a 32-year-old ship crew member who flew in from Kuala Lumpur, and another 32-year-old man who was on the same flight.

But the biggest cause for concern among today’s new cases was the cluster of 11 infections among residents of Ming Chuen House in Shui Chuen O Estate in Shatin.

Experts from the Department of Health and the Housing Department were immediately sent to the residential building, and they have reportedly ruled out any contamination from the sewage pipes.

Samples from the common areas in the housing block have been taken away for testing.

More cases linked to two restaurants, Bun Kee Congee & Noodle Foods at Ping Shek Estate and the Sunfat Restaurant in Jordan, were also reported today.

They include a 70-year-old man who visited Bun Kee, along with his 70-year-old wife who had never been to the fastfood joint.

Another is a taxi driver who had been out of work, but was picked up by a fellow driver who had visited Bun Kee, and subsequently tested positive.

Another case linked to the restaurant is 39-year-old woman who had also visited Bun Kee.

For Sun Fat, a new case involves a customer who went to the restaurant on Jul 3 and 4.

Another case that could be related to the eatery frequented by taxi divers is a cluster of cases involving one family. A 51-year-old woman married to a taxi driver tested positive, along with two of her sons.

There were other cases linked to one or two previously known infections, including another elderly resident of Kong Tai Care for the Aged Centre in Tsz Wan Shan, and the 18-year-old son of another resident who tested positive earlier.

Also included are a number of students in various schools: Po Leung Kuk Chee Jing Yin primary school, Kowloon City Baptist Church Hay Nien (Yan Ping) primary school, Christian Alliance S C Chan Memorial College in Kowloon Tong and the Taoist Ching Chung Primary School in Tuen Mun.

There is also an MTR employee at Tai Wo station, a staff of an employment agency recruiting foreign domestic workers, and two staff member of Ming Cheung House.

Those whose source of infection is not known include:

- a 40-year-old woman who works at SA SA branch in Yau Tong, along with her husband, also 40,  who works at a metal grill factory in Fotan;

- a 13-year-old student who lives in Tseung Kwan O and attended various tutorial classes,

- 41-year-old woman who works in Taikoo Place and lives in Sau Mau Ping;

- an 89-year-old woman who lives in Tsz Wan Shan whose 94-year-old husband was also found infected earlier;

- a 40-year-old man who lives in Choi Wan estate;

- a 35-year-old man who runs a tutorial school on Electric Road in North Point.

- a 47-year-old woman who lives in Wo Che estate and works at a SA SA shop in Ma On Shan

- a resident of Choi Fai Estate who did not visit Bun Kee, but has 4 neighbors who were stricken by the virus after eating at the fastfood outlet.

As of noon today, 172 confirmed cases are confined in nine public hospitals. Eleven patients recovered and were discharged today, raising the total number o f recoveries to 1,180. Seven people have died.

Dr Sara Ho of the Hospital Authority said 60% of hospital beds are currently in use, and the second-tier isolation wards are being readied to cope with a possible increase in cases.


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