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Filipina Covid patient went to bank in World-Wide, says CHP

14 April 2020

By The SUN

World-Wide House management says it has already disinfected the entire building 

A Filipina who tested positive for Covid-19 on Apr 10 had visited a bank in World-Wide two days earlier, shortly after arriving in Hong Kong from Manila.

This was revealed by the Hong Kong Health Department’s Centre for Health Protection at its daily press conference today, Apr 14.

CHP’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan did not name the building, but she confirmed that the woman in case 981, was on compulsory home quarantine when she went to a bank in the place.

CHP records earlier showed the 38-year-old woman had left for the Philippines on Mar 17 and returned to Hong Kong on Apr 8 aboard a Cathay Pacific flight from Manila that arrived early afternoon. She went to World-Wide House on the same day.

The woman was asymptomatic but a deep-throat sample she submitted to the AsiaWorld-Expo on arrival yielded a positive result two days later.

She was supposed to go on mandatory 14-day quarantine in her house in Constellation Cove, Taipo, after leaving the airport.

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Replying to a reporter’s question about the patient visiting World-Wide Plaza despite being under mandatory quarantine, Chuang said:

“A (deep throat saliva) sample (from the woman) was left at AsiaExpo and she returned home for quarantine but she went to a bank before returning home.”
Shop owners and tenants are scared of the possible impact of the news on their already dwindling sales

World-Wide House management said it was advised by CHP afterwards about the woman’s visit on Apr 8, but did not specify the place she had been to, whether it was the office block or the adjacent shopping arcade.

A female staff member said that as a result, they circulated an advisory to all the shop owners and tenants on Apr 12 advising them about the woman’s visit, and assuring them that there would be deep cleaning and disinfection.

The staff said the offices were disinfected earlier that day, and the shops, during the night, after they had closed down for the day.

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Some shopkeepers said the news about the unwanted visit had again spooked their business with very few people in the mall today after strong sales on Sunday.

Meanwhile, there Hongkongers were the only confirmed cases reported today, the lowest for more than a month, and the third day in a row that the daily tally had been below 10. The total number of confirmed cases is now 1,012.

Two of them are students, a 16-year-old who flew in from the United States, and a 22-year-old who came from Britain. The third is a 53-year-old man who also arrived from the U.S.

A fourth Hong Kong man, which local media identified as tenor Warren Mok, had tested positive in Thailand earlier, but returned a negative result shortly before retuning to Hong Kong.

Chuang said that if Thailand had listed him as one of its Covid-19 patients, then he will not be included in Hong Kong’s list even if he continues his treatment here.

Chuang said the first two of today’s cases left deep throat saliva samples at the AsiaWorld Expo testing center when they returned separately from the US.

But the third case, the student in the UK, went home to his family in Yuen Long after completing his 14-day quarantine. The family took him to a private hospital to do the test and was found positive, although his virus count is on the low side, Chuang said. 

People poured out into the streets and leisure places during the 4-day Easter holiday

Despite the big drop in the number of cases, health officials have continued to caution the the public against complacency.

“We have seen general improvement in recent days,  that means people are less worried now. But it is no time to let our guard down, it is still subject to further fluctuation,” Wong said. “We have to do everything we can to protect ourselves to prevent infection,” Chuang said.

The CHP said 13 patients remained critical and 37 more had been discharged from hospital.

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