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Covid clusters in restaurants continue to grow

19 May 2022

By The SUN


70 Covid-19 cases have now emerged from this restaurant in Sheung Wan 

More cases of Covid-19 infections have emerged in three eateries where outbreaks have been identified.

These include six new cases linked to the Imperial Kitchen in Kwun Tong, taking the total tally there to 26; six in Sky Cuisine restaurant in Sheung Wan where there are now 70 cases; and three to TamJai Yunnan Mixian in Tung Chung, raising the number of infections there to six.

The new cases were among 329 reported by the Centre for Health Protection on Wednesday, which raised the tally from the fifth wave of the pandemic to 1.196 million. 

Dr Albert Au of the Centre for Health Protection said the new infections included 31 imported cases, 10 of which were detected at the airport. The patients flew in from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Japan.

Nineteen patients tested positive during the seven-day hotel quarantine while two were found infected on the 12th day of their arrival. Au said the two both arrived on May 5 from the UK and are classified as re-positive cases.

Au reiterated suspicions that some patients from the Imperial Kitchen cluster had given false statements to authorities.

"We now know that there were people who went to the venue and attended gatherings. There were chats, there was eating, and they were taking off their masks," Au said.

But whether action will be taken against those who had given wrong information will depend on whether there is enough proof to back up such an assumption.

If there is, Au said CHP will refer the matter to law enforcers.

He added that since the place was not a licensed restaurant but private premises, the matter has been referred to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department for further investigations. 

The 26 patients in the cluster make up more than half of 47 people who had gathered in the private venue on May 9 to talk, eat and drink.

Meanwhile, Au said genome sequencing had shown that cases linked to Sky Cuisine and those in nearby Sai Wan Estate were “almost identical.” That suggested that the outbreak in the eatery could have been started by a staff member who lives in the estate.

Au also reported the city’s eighth Omicron BA.4 case. The patient is a 29-year-old woman who arrived from the UK on May 8, and was tested positive on her fifth day in quarantine.

Dr Lau Ka-hin of the Hospital Authority said four more Covid-related deaths were recorded on Tuesday, which took the city’s death toll to 9,152.

The deceased involved three men and a woman aged 64 to 90. 

Lau said that of the 641 patients being treated in public hospitals and treatment centers, 13 were in serious condition, and three in critical condition have been admitted to the intensive care unit.

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