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HK’s Covid-19 tally hits a new daily high of 118 cases, with 1 more death

23 July 2020

By The SUN
Clean-up operations are being carried out in many parts of HK as the Covid-19 cases continue to surge
Hong Kong reported today, Jul 23, an additional 118 Covid-19 cases, the biggest number to have been recorded since the outbreak began in January this year.

Of the new cases, 111 were locally acquired, another record high. On top of the confirmed cases, around 80 other people have tested preliminary positive from midnight last night.

One more death was recorded this afternoon, raising the fatality toll to 15. The deceased was a 63-year-old man with chronic illnesses who died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Of the seven imported cases, three were foreign domestic helpers who had just arrived from the Philippines, three were returnees from India, and one an air cargo crew who flew in from Japan.

In addition, 140 seafarers, some of them Filipinos, have been quarantined in six different ships anchored off Lamma island, after an undetermined number among their crew tested positive on arrival at Hong Kong airport.

But a bigger concern is still the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the community.
Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said that among today’s local cases, more than 60 are linked to previous infections, most of them among family members and co-workers, while the rest are of unknown origin.

A big number are linked to Tsz Wan Shan, the epicenter of the latest outbreak. They include several more diners at restaurants in the area, and another vegetable vendor in the wet market.

But there were new cases involving various eateries, including a staff at McDonald’s in Telford Plaza in Kowloon Bay, another in a Thai restaurant in Tai Kok Tsui, a third in  Tsui Hing Garden in Tuen Mun, plus a dishwasher at a Japanese restaurant in Pacific Place.

In addition, there was an inventory staff at a Market Place outlet in Taipo.
HK's health officials have repeated an appeal for people to stay at home, especially the elderly

Dr Chuang said some of the new cases had been to a banquet at the Tao Heung restaurant in Mong Kok, where other guests had tested positive earlier. Tao Heung said all its restaurants will be closed for 10 days from Sunday for cleansing.
But restaurants weren’t the only source of infections. Today’s cases also included a police officer at the Wanchai station, a secondary school teacher, a truck driver who works at the Tsing Ma container port, staff at an elderly home in Tai Wai, a health worker at Queen Elizabeth hospital, and staff at a Chinese medical clinic in Kwai Chung.

The number of critically ill patients also rose to an all-time high of 33 today, with 14  in serious condition, according to the Hospital Authority’s Dr Linda Yu. The 566 others who are in 14 public hospitals are in stable condition.

According to Chuang, the high number of critically or seriously patients is mainly because many of the new patients are elderly people with chronic ailments, “who came to the hospital rather late.”

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This has led Undersecretary for Food and Health Chui Tak-yi to appeal to the public, particularly the elderly, to avoid going out, and for everyone not to gather for meals including with family members living in another flat.

He said that between Jul 16 to Jul 22, a total of 543 confirmed cases recorded, and 481 of them were locally acquired. This was more than twice as many as the number in the previous week.

That was the reason, according to him, for the government’s stringent new measures, including a requirement for everyone to wear a mask when going to indoor public places like a supermarket and wet market, apart from public transportation.

From Saturday, all new arrivals from seven countries identified as high-risk, including the Philippines, will have to present proof of testing negative in a swab test for Covid-19, and a confirmed booking for at least 14 days in a Hong Kong hotel, for the mandatory quarantine.

On Jul 28, the requirements will be extended to those flying in from the United States and Kazakshtan.

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