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HK records 26 confirmed, over 40 preliminary positive cases of Covid-19

20 November 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap

Food & Health Secretary Sophia Chan confirms a new wave of infections has begun

In what could be an indication that the fourth wave of coronavius infectious has truly begun, Hong Kong health authorities reported 26 new Covid-19 cases and more than 40 preliminary positive ones today, Nov. 20.

Secretary for Food and Health Dr Sophia Chan said in a press briefing that a new wave of infections has started in the city, citing experts and data from the Centre for Health Protection.

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“But of course we are now doing our best, and before this severe situation started, in the past week, we have already tightened many of our measures, including border control measures, quarantine measures, hotel regulation measures, and also some of the social distancing measures,” Dr Chan said.

“We have also ramped up our testing capacity and set up four community testing centres, and also improved the accessibility of people getting tested, not only the distribution of bottles, but also getting tested in our centres.”

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What appears to bother the experts the most is that many of the new cases have unknown sources, indicating there are many silent carriers around who could unknowingly spread the virus to a lot of people.

Of today’s confirmed cases, five were imported, involving a returnee each from Pakistan and Romania, two from India, and a pilot from the United Kingdom.

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Of the 21 locally acquired cases, 12 were linked to previous infections, and 9 had unknown sources.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said in a separate media briefing that most of the new preliminary cases were local cases, and untraceable.

Setting off the alarm further is a cluster of infections that has emerged from the Starlight Dance Club on Lockhart Road, Wanchai.

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Among the new confirmed cases today is a 75-year-old businesswoman who visited the club on Nov 14. She lives at Victoria Heights on Stubbs Road, and works at Lyndhurst Terrace in Central. Among the places she visited during the virus incubation was the Hong Kong Golf Club in Deepwater Bay.

Dr Chuang said that apart from the businesswoman, nine other cases had been to the venue, including at least five dance instructors and one staff member. Among the preliminary cases, at least seven are also linked to the club.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang klwentong Dream Love
 

Many of the instructors at the club also taught dancing in at least two other venues, Heavenly Dance Studio in Sheung Wan, and Dance Culture in Causeway Bay. Chuang said it was possible other dance studios may be added later as the teachers went to several schools.

 

Some teachers at Starlight also held classes at Heavenly Dance Studio (RTHK photo) 

She said the patients had been to the club between Nov 12 and 14, so people who had been there during those dates should have themselves tested.

Also among the new confirmed cases is a 27-year-old male “bar bender” at a construction site in Yuen Long. His 12 close associates will be sent for testing, while more than 100 others who worked at the site will be given specimen bottles.

He developed symptoms on Nov 15, but still went to join a birthday party in a room at the Olympian Hong Kong Hotel two days later. One of his family members has also tested positive.

Another case is a 73-year-old man who tested positive at the same time as  his 37-year-old man male relative who attended a special needs school, the Leung King Adult Training Centre in Tuen Mun. Another seven students and staff at the school will be tested, while the school will be closed for disinfection.

The other untraceable cases are 61-year-old female security guard at Greenwood Garden in Shatin, a 63-year-old taxi driver who lives in Tseung Kwan O and shared his vechicle with two other driver; a professional man who works in San Po Kong and lives in Lam Tin; and a 42-year-old woman who lives at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Tseung Kwan O, and arrived from Japan earlier this year to visit relatives and friends.

They also include a 59-year-old housewife who lives at Pacific Palisades in Braemar Hill, North Point; another housewife who lives at Lee Man Building in Mong Kokl; and a 57-year-old who lives in Tsuen Wan, and attended an oldies’ party during the incubation period.

Asked about reports that four taxi drivers previously confirmed as having the coronavirus subsequently tested negative, Dr Chuang said it is suspected that the test samples were contaminated.

“It’s hard to say that the tests were false positive. Some cases were positive before, and they were tested negative after admission to hospital. So, the case numbers will not be deleted because the test samples were negative subsequently and there was no antibody detected,” she said.

The total number of cases in Hong Kong now stands at 5,518 with 108 deaths, which mostly occurred during the third wave which began in early July.

Only 115 confirmed patients are still being treated in 19 public hospitals, with 8 in critical condition, 2 in serious condition, and 105 in stable condition.

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