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Karaoke bars closed from 6pm tonight as more Covid-19 cases reported

01 April 2020

By The SUN

Karaokes will close for 2 weeks after 8 infections were linked to one bar in TST, which has since shut down

All karaoke lounges were ordered closed for 14 days starting at 6pm tonight, Apr 1, after three more people with links to a rash of infections traced to a karaoke in Tsim Sha Tsui tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number in the cluster to eight.

According to the Centre for Health Protection, two of the new cases were with the five infected people who visited REDMR karaoke on Carnarvon Road on Mar. 24. The third is a relative of one of the women in the group.

The decision to shut down karaoke bars, mahjong parlours and clubhouses was made after a special meeting this afternoon between Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her advisory body, the Executive Council.
The business establishments were not originally included in the list of public gathering places ordered closed on Saturday, Mar 28, as part of social distancing measures to stop a recent surge in the number of new infections.

Earlier, three other establishments - club houses, beauty centers and massage parlours - were reportedly included in the ban, but they were later told they can continue operating as long as their customers wear face masks and their temperatures taken before being allowed in.

The CHP said a total of 51 new cases of Covid-19 were reported as of 4 pm today, bringing the city’s tally to 765.

Among the new cases is a 40-day-old baby boy, who was in contact with an infected person on Mar 30, “who might have held him.”

Another Filipina domestic worker is infected in her employer's house
They also include a 25-year-old Filipina domestic helper who works for a family in Elm Tree Towers in Jardine’s Lookout whose four members, including an 11-year-old girl, had tested positive earlier. The helper developed fever on Mar 30 while under quarantine.

The infection was traced to the employer’s 14-year-old son who recently returned from his studies in the United Kingdom.

According to the Philippine Consulate, three more Filipinos have tested positive for Covid-19 since Mar 27. A total of 19 Filipinos are now being treated for the disease in various hospitals in Hong Kong. Four others were discharged earlier after testing positive.

The total number could be higher, however, as the musicians who played in four bars from where around 70 cases have been traced, are mostly Filipinos.

Another case linked to one of the bars identified earlier, All Night Long, was reported.
One infected patient visited two bars in Lan Kwai Fong, but they were different from the four others that have been shut down after being linked to a cluster of cases.

A big chunk, or 34, of the new cases, had a recent travel history, and 13 are returning students.
Two others are a Cathay flight attendant and a pilot. The flight attendant had just returned from London aboard CX 252, when she fell ill. The pilot had flown to London and Vancouver before falling ill on Mar 29.

Those with no travel history also include: 

- an immigration officer who worked in the office. He met up with a friend who had recently returned to HK and had runny nose; 


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- A taxi driver who did not pick up passengers from a call center or the airport;

-         -  A woman who provided “beauty treatment” to an infected client; 

           -  A chauffeur who lives in the same building in Wanchai as an infected person

-          - A man who frequently visited a gym; 
       
     Health officials say 624 infected patients are currently confined in various hospitals. Seven are critical, while five are in serious condition.

Four confirmed cases are waiting to be admitted to hospitals, while officials rush to open 400 second-tier isolation beds where the less serious or recovering patients will be transferred.
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