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HK records 2 new local cases as Filipina patient queried over health declaration

05 July 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Newly arrived passengers queue up for the health declaration and quarantine forms

A Filipina domestic helper who was confirmed positive for coronavirus infection yesterday, Jul 4, is being investigated for declaring at the airport that she came from Taipei, where she stopped over, instead of Manila, where she originated.

This developed as the Department of Health reported two locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 today, July 5, ending a three-week streak of zero local infections. There were also eight imported cases, bringing the city’s total tally to 1,268, with seven fatalities.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said in answer to a question about the Filipina in a media briefing today, Jun 5, that it is an offense to lie to health officials screening people for Covid-19 infection.
“For anyone knowingly giving false information to health officers, that’s an offense. The penalty will be $5,000 in fine and jail term of six months,” Chuang said.

A reporter had asked how the CHP found out about the helper’s misdeclaration.

“When we checked with the patient, we found out that she transferred from Taipei. We were surprised because there has been no case in Taipei for a long time, so, upon further checking, we found out she transferred at Taipei,” Chuang said.

She said it turned out the helper originally flew from the Philippines, which she did not state in her health declaration form.
Chuang says it is an offense to give false information in the health declaration form
As a result of the misdeclaration, the Filipina was sent for home quarantine instead of being made to wait for her test result at the airport, which is the norm for most incoming travelers.

Meanwhile, the two local cases reported today involve a 59-year-old male cook and a 41-year-old female assistant at a clinic in Cheung Sha Wan.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The man works at a restaurant in the Tuen Mun River Trade Terminal and in another eatery in Ping Shek, Kwun Tong, where he also lives.

He developed a runny nose on Jun 30 and had diarrhoea on July 3. He felt dizzy on July 4 while taking public transport and was hospitalised.

Chuang said the patient’s co-workers have been put under quarantine, while specimen bottles are being distributed to his fellow residents in his apartment block and the patrons of the two restaurants where he worked.

Tinghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

She said the man tested preliminary positive on Saturday night after running a fever for days. He is being treated at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung.

The clinic assistant, on the other hand, is reported to have met an infected patient briefly on Jun 24.

She developed an itchy throat on Jul 2 and felt feverish the next day. She submitted a saliva sample on Jul 4 and was found infected.

“We are putting the clinic staff under quarantine and also we are distributing deep throat saliva bottles to the place she lives in Hung Yu Mansion in Cheung Sha Wan,” Chuang said.

Specimen bottles will also be given to patients who attended the clinic on Castle Peak Road for testing.

Of the eight imported cases, six came back from Pakistan while the other two returned from India and Indonesia.

As of midday today, 28 more patients have been discharged, while 101 others are still in hospital, mostly in stable condition.

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