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17 new Covid-19 cases, all imported, reported today

17 October 2020

By The SUN 

11 of the 17 new confirmed patients flew in from India (RTHK file photo)


Hong Kong health authorities have reported 17 new coronavirus cases today, Oct 17, all of them imported.

Of these, 11 were new arrivals from India, listed as among the high risk countries where travelers are required to present a negative test result for Covid-19 before being allowed to board their flights to Hong Kong.

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The new cases also included four foreign domestic workers, three females and one male. Two females, aged 28 and 27, flew in aboard CX 798 from Jakarta. Another female, aged 30, took CX 906 from Manila, while the lone male, aged 39, came from New Delhi.

No press briefing was held today, and the cases were listed down in a press release posted on the government website.

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The other cases were listed as a 40-year-old man from Pakistan, a 31-year-old man from Morocco, and a 35-year-old female from France.

Russia and France have just been added to the list of high risk countries, with the negative test result for travelers from both countries to take effect starting on Oct 25.

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Apart from India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, South Africa, Kazakhstan, the United States and Britain, are also in the restricted list.

Earlier, the Secretary for Food and Health Dr Sophia Chan said in a radio interview that the government is studying the possibility of setting up a Covid-19 testing laboratory at the airport, after a tentative agreement on creating a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was reached.

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Under the deal, travelers from the two cities can get in and out of the other destination freely, without having to undergo a 14-day quarantine. But certain restrictions will be imposed, like prior testing before travel, and taking only specified flights.

Dr Chan said it was important to speed up travel once the pandemic eases, and having a testing lab at the airport can help shorten the testing time for both inbound and outbound travelers.

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She also said that no positive result was found from the 11,000 specimen samples submitted to the temporary testing facilities set up in Wanchai, Yau Tsim Mong, Kwai Tsing and Kowloon City. Around 3,000 samples have yet to be tested.

She reiterated that the government is looking into the legal implications of making testing mandatory for residents, since many patients who were found infected were not tested when they initially consulted with private doctors.

Today’s cases took the city’s overall Covid-19 tally to 5,237, with 105 deaths. A total of 105 confirmed patients are still receiving treatment at public hospitals. 

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