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4 new Covid-19 includes another newly arrived Filipina DH

03 October 2020

By The SUN 

Experts say distancing measures should remain because of the silent transmissions

Four new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections were reported in Hong Kong today, Oct. 3, bringing the city’s total tally to 5,108, with 105 related deaths.

Three are imported cases, including a 27-year-old Filipina domestic helper who just flew in from Manila; a 34-year-old man who arrived from India, and a 30-year-old man who came from the UK.

The only local case is a 22-year-old student at the Institute of Vocational Education in Tseung Kwan O, whose source of infection is unknown.

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This prompted health authorities to close the school for two weeks, and its more than 2,000 students and staff asked to submit themselves to Covid-19 tests.

The student lives in Sha Tin, and last visited the campus on September 29, which was also when he started developing symptoms.

But he also went to a bar called China Secret located in Lee Chau Commercial Building on Hart Avenue in Tsim Sha Tsui with friends on September 23, during the incubation period.

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Dr Chuang Shuk Kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection's communicable disease branch, said staff at the bar will also be tested as officials were worried that it was the source of infection.

"So far, we have not identified any confirmed case among this activity and also the friends, but we are still investigating," she said.

Since there has been a number of cases with unknown source the past few days, Chuang said the public should avoid engaging in social activities.

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The precaution should also include holding off on reopening the borders as this could lead to more transmissions.

There is fear the number of cases may rise after the long holiday weekend

Her view reflected that of another expert on infectious diseases, Chinese University professor David Hui.

Hui, who also advises the government on pandemic control, said the current social distancing restrictions should remain in place for now because of the number of untraceable cases that have been almost daily the past week.

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He is particularly worried about an increase in the number of infections after the long holiday weekend, given the pandemic fatigue that has set in after months of social distancing restrictions.

"During the holiday, a lot of people actually have gone out celebrating and also joining a lot of social activities. So we have to [see] whether there's any related outbreak, for example in restaurants and other facilities,” said Hui.

The government has eased some restrictions in the past week, including allowing places of worship and business establishments like bars to reopen.

However, public gatherings are still limited to four people and everyone is required to wear masks in public, except when doing strenuous activities.

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