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Govt warns of tighter rules amid a new outbreak of infections

02 November 2020

By The SUN 

Halloween revelers gathered in Victoria Park, many of whom did not wear masks

Hong Kong’s health secretary has warned that social distancing measures may be tightened anew as three new local cases of Covid-19 were reported today, Nov 2, whose main source is unknown.

Health Secretary Dr Sophia Chan expressed alarm at the outbreak traced to a hotel in Lantau, during an interview with RTHK.

Chan warned the authorities would re-impose strict gathering measures if people continued to violate social distancing rules.

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“I hope people (will) have self-discipline. I understand people would like to relax as the pandemic has lasted for a long time. But large crowds should be avoided for the overall coronavirus situation in Hong Kong,” she said.

Just last Friday, the government eased some of the restrictions, including allowing up to six people to eat together in restaurants, and four in bars. Their service hours were also extended until 2am.

However, the ban on more than four people gathering in public was kept in place.

 

The Lantau hotel where the new cluster of infections has been traced (RTHK photo)

The Centre for Health Protection reported a total of six cases today, half of whom were imported, and the other half, linked to a staycation at the Seaview Holiday Resort in Mui Wo between Sunday and Tuesday (Oct 25-27) last week.

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The first to show symptoms was a 26-year-old woman in the group of eight people who developed a fever on Wednesday, Oct 28.

On Friday, Oct 30, a 26-year-old man from the group developed a cough and runny nose.

The third linked case is a 15-year-old boy who met up with the woman in a family gathering on Tuesday and developed a cough on Saturday. The school he attends in Fanling had to be closed for two weeks for disinfection.

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CHP said it would distribute specimen bottles from the patients’ neighbors, colleagues and schoolmates, as well as the hotel guests and staff.

A respiratory disease expert, Dr Leung Chi-chiu, said people should avoid taking gathering during staycations in local hotels to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“If there is an outbreak inside the hotel, that may affect other customers, that may cause a super-spreading event. We need to take care,” he said. 

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The three imported cases involved a 38-year-old female domestic worker who just arrived from Indonesia, a 35-year-old male returnee from Pakistan, and a 25-year-old man from Russia.

There are now a total of 5,336 confirmed cases in Hong Kong, but only 94 remain in 19 public hospitals. Of these, nine are in critical condition, five are serious, and the remaining 80 are in stable condition.

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