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Filipina among 7 new Covid-19 cases as expert warns of 1k deaths this winter

12 October 2020

 By The SUN 

Yuen says high-risk places like bars must be watched strictly to prevent the spike in deaths


A newly arrived Filipina and six other people were confirmed today, Oct 1, as coronavirus patients, bringing Hong Kong’s total tally to 5,183.

So far, the city has reported a relatively low death toll of 105, but a leading microbiologist has warned that this may not be for long. 

University of Hong Kong Professor Yuen Kwok-yung said the death toll could pass 1,000 this winter unless social distancing measures at high-risk venues are implemented properly.

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Professor Yuen, who advises the government on its pandemic response, said in an interview with Commercial Radio that the government was right in imposing regulations  targeting high-risk venues such as restaurants, bars, wet markets and care homes.

But he said this meant nothing if the rules were not implemented properly, citing the lax enforcement in bars on Lan Kwai Fong, where customers were seen moving around freely without masks on.

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Unless Hong Kong takes its preventive measures more seriously, he warned more than 10,000 people could get infected this winter, and over 1,000 patients could die.

The expert also said the government should focus more on targeted testing of people who visit public clinics or private doctors because the positivity rate from these sources was far higher than from the universal testing done last month.

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But Financial Secretary Paul Chan disagreed. Writing in his blog, he said Hong Kong could use the results from the city-wide testing to devise strategies that can quickly contain severe outbreaks while allowing most people to carry on with their lives.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection announced in a press release that today’s new infections included two residents of the Home of Treasure care facility for the disabled in Kwai Chung.

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The latest cases took the number of infected people in the care home to 15.

M1 is the latest hotel to be linked to a locally acquired infection 

The two other local cases were also linked to previous infections. One is a 74-year-old woman while the other is a 24-year-old woman staying at the M1 hotel in North Point.

Apart from the Filipina whose visa status was not disclosed in the government announcement, the two other imported cases were a female returnee from the Netherlands and a male youth from Nepal who was found infected while under quarantine.

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The Hospital Authority said that a total of 124 confirmed patients are currently hospitalized in 18 public hospitals. Eight are in critical condition, nine in serious condition and the remaining 107 patients are in stable condition.

 

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