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Govt quashes lockdown rumor as 61 new infections and 2 deaths reported

21 July 2020

By The SUN
It's not true that a lockdown will be ordered in the next few days, says a government spokesman
The government has issued a press statement denying that it may impose a lockdown in the coming days amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The statement released today, Jul 21, said the rumor is unfounded.

“In view of the severity of the epidemic situation, we should fight the disease together. Members of the public should not be misled by fake news, nor should they spread any rumour that can lead to unnecessary fear,” the statement said.
The statement came as health officials reported 61 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, one of the biggest daily tallies since the outbreak began in January. The total tally now stands at 2,019.

Two deaths were also reported within the day, which raised the total fatality rate to 14.

The first casualty was a 77-year-old male confirmed patient at Queen Mary Hospital in Pokfulam who passed away at around 2am today.

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Less than an hour later, a 87-year-old male patient who also had Covid-19 died at Prince of Wales Hospital in Shatin.

Both had chronic diseases but were in stable condition when admitted to hospital – the first on Jul 16 and the other on Jul 9.

An elderly male patient at Prince of Wales Hospital was among two deaths reported today
Among three imported cases today was a Filipino seafarer.

Talks of a lockdown began when a top microbiologist Prof Yuen Kwok-yung warned during a radio interview Monday that a “virtual lockdown” may be necessary if the coronavirus cases increase in the next week or so.

Asked about the statement, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection did not rule out more stringent measures if the number of cases continued to rise.

Sunday saw a record 108 confirmed cases being reported. Yesterday, 73 more positive cases were added to the total figure, the second highest on record.

As in the start of the month, when the so-called third wave of infections occurred, the cases were spread out across several districts in Hong Kong, and many had unknown origin.
Today reflected the same phenomenon, with 58 local cases reported from various districts and establishments, and with many family members being infected at the same time.

Chuang said 34 of the cases had links to previous ones, but the source of the 24 others could not yet be determined.

Hospital Authority’s chief manager Linda Yu said that the surge in new cases was putting pressure on the city’s public hospitals. As of now, almost 70 percent of the isolation beds are occupied, and two hospitals are already near capacity.

“We are also worried. If the situation does not improve we will not have enough beds,” Yu said.

She also noted that 29 patients are now in critical condition, up from seven yesterday. A further 11 patients are seriously ill.

Chuang reiterated an appeal for people not to seek Covid-19 test if they do not have symptoms, to avoid overloading the public healthy system.

“If you have no symptoms and are just worried, please do not go tested because you will burden the medical system such that those who really need it have to wait longer,” she said.

The doctors also issued an appeal for blood donation, saying what is collected daily at the moment is not enough to meet the needs of the hospitals.

Among today’s cases were a number involving various hospitals. A patient at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital has tested positive, after staying in the same ward as an infected patient who was put there while recovering from an appendectomy.

A total of 40 health case staff and 33 patients have been tested after the incident, and all the results are negative.

At Ruttonjee Hospital, a patient who visited the endoscopy center on Jul 16 was diagnosed with the disease afterwards. Eight other patients who had been in the same ward were classified as close contacts, and were put under quarantine.

An 84-year-old patient in the general ward of Queen Elizabeth Hospital also tested preliminary positive today. A total of five cases have so far been linked to this cluster, which started with another elderly patient being put in a ward before being found to be infected.

Among the local cases with unknown source was a 64-year-old woman who accompanied residents of various elderly homes to hospitals. Her case is being investigated.

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