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Tests ordered for visitors of 14 dance clubs as 43 new Covid-19 cases reported

22 November 2020

By The SUN 

Half of the 43 new cases are linked to the Starlight Dance Club in Wan Chai (RTHK photo)

The government has ordered people who visited any of the 14 dance clubs linked to an outbreak of Covid-19 cases to undergo tests for the coronavirus.

This was announced by the Centre for Health Protection on Saturday,  Nov 21, as it reported 43 new infections, along with more than 60 preliminary positive cases.

Of the confirmed cases, 21 were linked to Starlight Dance Club in Wan Chai, taking the total number of infections there to 32.

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Among the confirmed patients are eight teachers and pupils who visited 13 other clubs that have already been identified by government investigators, and are located in various districts across Hong Kong and Kowloon.

“For those who have been to these 14 dancing places after the first of November, they should come forward for tests as soon as possible,” said CHP’s Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan at today’s press briefing on the Covid-19 situation.

Chuang said they’re hoping the tests would be completed by Nov. 24. Those who don’t submit themselves to a test will be penalized in line with a new regulation allowing the government to impose mandatory testing for everyone it considers as “high risk.”

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Among the venues named were Dance Culture, Dance Star Academy, DanzStage Dance Studio  and Shining Star Dance Studio, all in Causeway Bay; Heavenly Dance Studio in Sheung Wan, Green Apple International Dance School in Tseung Kwan O, Dance Concepts in San Po Kong and Tsim Sha Tsui; and More Dance Fame in Wan Chai.

Chuang also said the trend was worrying, as there was an indication that there were “super spreaders” in the cluster. It was thus likely that more infections would be uncovered in the next few days.

"The numbers are escalating, so the trend of increase is very alarming. We are very worried that a further increase in cases will happen, and it will be very difficult to control.”

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She called on everyone to cancel all unnecessary social activities, especially during the weekends when many people tend to gather together.

Of the day’s confirmed cases, seven were imported, including four foreign domestic workers. Two flew in from Manila, and the other two, from Jakarta. The three others were returnees from Sweden, Britain, and the United States.

One of the Filipinas who tested positive was a 44-year-old who had symptoms when she arrived on Nov 19. The other was a 35-year-old who arrived on Nov 12 and tested positive on her second test while in quarantine at the Metropark Kowloon Hotel.

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The two Indonesian workers are a 36-year-old who tested positive on arrival from Jakarta, and a 34-year-old who was found infected while under quarantine at Silka Hotels in Yau Ma Tei.

Aside from the cases linked to the Starlight Dance Club, only two others were traced to previous infections.

The remaining 13 were of unknown sources, which Dr Chuang said was worrying, as they were found in various districts, and no high-risk factors were detected.

Dr Chuang asks people to cut back on social events, especially during weekends

“This shows that in many districts across Hong Kong we have many silent transmitters,” she said.

The untraceable cases include a construction worker, several retirees and housewives who live as far apart as Ma On Shan and McDonnell Road in Mid-Levels. The other patients live in Wong Tai Sin, Tai Kok Tsui, Fo Tan, Mong Kok (2), Sham Shui Po, Kowloon City, Tsuen Wan, Prince Edward, Tseung Kwan O and Tin Hau.

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Dr Lau Ka-hin of the Hospital Authority, meanwhile, said work is under way to make sure there are enough hospital beds in case the Covid outbreak worsens.

He said close to 4,000 beds, about half of them installed at a temporary medical facility at the Asia World-Expo, will be available at 72 hours’ notice.

Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally now stands at 5,561, with 108 deaths. A total of 132 confirmed patients are now in several public hospitals, with eight of them in critical condition, two serious, and 122 in stable condition.

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