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Filipino seafarer and DH among 15 new Covid-19 cases

30 August 2020

By The SUN

Many people were out and about today, including those in Victoria Park, despite 15 new Covid-19 cases being detected

Two newly arrived Filipinos, a 41-year-old male seafarer and a 25-year-old female domestic helper, were among 15 confirmed new novel coronavirus patients that Hong Kong health officials reported today, Aug 30.

The Filipinos were among five imported cases. The three others are all returnees from India. The 10 other cases are all locally transmitted, with five of them from unknown sources.

They brought Hong Kong’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases to 4,802. The death toll rose to 88 after an 83-year-old woman passed away in Tuen Mun Hospital this morning.
Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said there were about 12 or so preliminarily positive cases.

Several Filipinos have tested positive on arrival here in recent days despite presenting certificates of negative infection before boarding their flights to Hong Kong from Manila.

Among the local cases was a 31-year-old pregnant woman who tested positive after being put in a general admission ward at Tuen Mun Hospital.  Dr Sara Ho from the Hospital Authority said the hospital has apologized for the oversight, and is now reviewing its workflow.
It was found out during an investigation that the woman, who is 39 weeks pregnant, had declared she had a fever before she was admitted to the hospital, and put in the general ward along with 10 other patients. She was moved to an isolation ward after testing positive later that night.

Also among the local cases was a 29-year-old male officer who is stationed in the Police Headquarters in Wanchai. He tested preliminarily tested positive for Covid-19 after undergoing a test on Aug. 28, and was confirmed to have the virus yesterday.

The other confirmed cases today were a nurse at Dr Tse Kin-wah’s clinic where a nurse and a cleaner had been previously reported as infected. Three residents at the Hong Chi hostel for the mentally handicapped in Lei Muk Shue have also been confirmed, taking the total infections there to 11 residents and six staff.

The cases of unknown source include a part-time taxi driver, a housewife suffering from chronic illness, a cleaner at the Pacific Place, and another cleaner at the Hong Kong Cricket Club.
HK says calls to boycott universal testing are misleading, while Beijing calls them 'vile'

Meanwhile, the governments of both Hong Kong and Beijing have slammed a call by critics for the public not to take part in the universal community testing which is slated to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The call came as up to 400,000 people reportedly signed up for the mass testing on the first two days of registration.
A number of pro-democracy groups, district councilors and activists held a news conference earlier today to warn that the testing program could do more harm than good. They said people who may gather at the testing centres could lead to new clusters of infections breaking out.

They also claimed people who receive a negative-test result could acquire a false sense of security, and spread the virus unknowingly through increase social activities.

But a statement from the Hong Kong government said such false messages are deliberate attempts to scare or mislead people into opting out of being tested.
The statement reiterated assurances from health officials that the universal testing is meant to identify asymptomatic carriers so the silent transmission of the virus can be stopped.

“These acts run counter to the spirit of the community to fight the disease together, and fall short of the expectations of the medical personnel and a large number of frontline staff members who have been working hard to fight the virus as well as enterprises and members of the public in support of the program. The acts are extremely disappointing and regretful and deserve the condemnation by the community," the statement said.

In a separate statement, the spokesperson of the central government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said the campaign against universal testing was a “vile” attempt to smear the mainland’s efforts to help the SAR to fight the spread of Covid-19.

It also said the call for the public to boycott the exercise was a “disregard” for people’s safety and health.

Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong on the other hand accused the critics of politicizing anti-pandemic issues, and said the attempt to cast doubt on the mainland’s help to combat the spread of the disease in the city was “despicable.”

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