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Official warns of ‘explosive outbreaks’ as 101 new Covid-19 cases recorded

05 December 2020

By The SUN 

If the number of cases continues to rise, an 'explosive outbreak' could happen, says the CHP


Hong Kong has recorded 101 new coronavirus cases today, Dec. 5, the second day in a row that the daily tally has breached the 100 mark.

In a press briefing, principal medical and health officer Albert Au from Centre for Health Protection said that 92 of the new cases were locally acquired, 29 of them untraceable. The 63 other were linked to previous infections.

Au said the continuing rise in the number of cases, particularly those with unknown sources, was worrying.

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“What we are seeing in the past few days is that the number of cases remains at a very high level, and the proportion of untraceable cases is also increasing, so this is worrying because this signifies that there is a lot of silent transmissions in various places in Hong Kong,” he said.

If the trend continues, he said “at some point we may encounter explosive outbreaks…in the near future.”

He reminded everyone to observe “high vigilance” and continue practicing social distancing and maintain good personal hygiene to help prevent such an outbreak.

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Nine of today’s cases were imported, including an Indonesian domestic worker who tested positive on arrival at the airport. The others included an air crew from the United Kingdom, a seafarer, two returnees from Pakistan, and one each from UK, Italy, Turkey, and the United States.

Au said about 50 preliminary positive cases have been recorded, and could increase as more test results come in during the rest of the day.

Au says the preliminary cases could increase by the midnight reporting cut-off

The preliminary cases include an elderly couple who were taken by ambulance to Pok Oi Hospital yesterday and are now in intensive care at the Tuen Mun Hospital.

Dr Lau Ka-hin, chief manager of the Hospital Authority, said the 77-year-old male patient had complained of feeling dizzy, and was put in an observation ward where he was given oxygen.

Subsequently, his 74-year-old wife also felt unwell, and was also admitted to the hospital. Initial tests done on the couple showed both were infected with the virus.

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A 73-year-old male patient who was undergoing medical treatment in an adjacent cubicle was declared as a close contact, and put in an isolation room. But an initial test showed he was not infected.

Most of the local cases were linked to previously identified cluster of cases, including 18 new ones from the dance cluster, making a total of about 500; six from the Tung Wah Group of Hospital Ho Yuk Ching Willow Lodge, which now has 14 positive cases, and a new case linked to the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital.

The other linked cases include three more from a construction site in Lohas Park, raising the tally to 34 cases; and two from the Fong Shu Chuen Hostel for disabled in Shau Kei Wan, which now has 57 cases.

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They also included a nurse at a private doctor’s clinic in Whampoa whose family members had previously tested positive for the coronavirus. The doctor, Fok Lai-Sing and his two other nurses have been classified as close contacts and will be sent to quarantine.

The 29 untraceable cases included a student from Munsang College in Sai Wan Ho.

Dr Lau reported an incident at St John’s Hospital in Cheung Chau where an unidentified person spilled his saliva sample onto a desk after being told he missed the deadline for submission of specimen for testing by an hour.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

A nurse who was inside the room was wearing proper protective equipment, but was given a Covid-19 test to be on the safe side, and put under medical surveillance.

“We find that person’s disregard of social morals regrettable,” said Dr Lau, adding that there was no other hospital or patients around during the incident, so the HA would not take further action against the offender.

Taxi drivers who will work from Christmas until Jan 23 are compelled to take the test

Meanwhile, the government has ordered all taxi drivers who plan to work between Christmas and January 23, to take compulsory coronavirus tests.

The Transport Department said the two-week free testing scheme for these drivers will start on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 13 dedicated centres.

Drivers, who take the test will receive an SMS message as proof, as well as a "Compulsory Testing Tag" for them to display.

Those who don’t comply with the order could face a fixed penalty of $5,000 under new restrictions announced yesterday.


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