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Karaoke bar source of 5 new Covid-19 cases

01 April 2020

By The SUN
REDMR branch in TST has been shut after the 5 infections were reported today

First came the pubs. Now a karaoke bar in Tsim Sha Tsui has been identified as the source of a new cluster case of five Covid-19 patients.
The Centre for Health Protection identified the establishment as REDMR Karaoke on Carnarvon Road in Tsim Sha Tsui during its briefing today, Mar 31.
According to CHP’s Dr Chuang Shuk-wan, the five patients, 4 women and 1 man, visited the karaoke lounge on Mar 24. The first patient developed symptoms right after they gathered in room 704 of the bar. The rest started getting sick on Mar 27 and Mar 28. The man tested positive on Mar 30, the 4 women, a day later.


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Two other people who were with them have been sent to a quarantine centre for monitoring.
It is still not known if any of the karaoke’s staff has been infected.
The karaoke bar was reportedly disinfected on Mar 26, after the first case was reported. But on hearing that other cases had been detected from the lounge, management reportedly closed down the TST branch today.


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Karaokes are exempted from the temporary closure of business establishments that attract large gatherings, such as gyms, party venues, amusement centres and spas, which the government ordered effective Mar 26.
However, they are required to conform to social distancing guidelines imposed on restaurants, like accepting only half their regular capacity, allowing a maximum of four people to sit at one table, which should be at least 1.5 meters apart.


Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

Chuang did not respond to an inquiry on whether karaokes ought to be closed as a result of the newly recorded infections, which brought Hong Kong’s total tally of cases to 715.
But she again advised the public to refrain from going out, and gathering in restaurants, bars and karaokes during the next two weeks, seen as critical in stopping the recent surge in cases.
 
Most of the new cases again involve residents who have  recently returned to HK  from overseas
Of the 32 new Covid-19 cases, 24 had traveled abroad during the incubation period, and 13 are overseas students. One of the returning residents is pregnant.
Also among the new cases is a wheelchair-bound 57-year-old man who tested positive at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, and is said to be in critical condition. He was looked after by a domestic helper, who has been put under quarantine.


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One staff of the Dusk till Dawn pub was also among the new cases, bringing the total number from the so-called bar cluster to 69. The cases include staff, musicians, patrons and close family members of those who worked in four bars in Central, Wanchai and Tsim Sha Tsui.
As most quarantine centers are near capacity, the government is looking at allowing those under medical observation for 10 days to go home and continue the remaining 4 days of their isolation at home. But health officials say there will be exceptions to the rule, like if the person under quarantine is living with an elderly person at home.
Chief  Executive Carrie Lam has also said during a separate press briefing that recovering patients may be sent to quarantine facilities, saying it is “unsatisfactory” that patients are made to wait at home after being confirmed as Covid-19 patients.
“We do not rule out that the authority may transfer recovering patients to other sorts of quarantine centres, with one possibility being the current quarantine centres under the Centre for Health Protection,” Lam said.


According to the Hospital Authority, 12 confirmed infected people were still waiting for admission as of 3pm.

Work is now underway to open 400 beds in hospital wards to serve as second-tier isolation rooms where the less sick or recovering patients will be moved, to free up space for the new patients.

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