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13 new imported Covid-19 cases recorded in HK

29 May 2020

By The SUN

Returnees from Pakistan are put under quarantine in Chun Yeung estate (RTHK photo)

Thirteen new coronavirus infections were recorded in Hong Kong today, May 29,  and they all involve returning residents from Pakistan. The city’s total tally now stands at 1,079.

Today’s cases were the biggest cluster in nearly six weeks, although there has been no local transmission for the past 15 days.

The 13 new patients are aged between two and 46, and they all flew into Hong Kong yesterday aboard Qatar Airways Flight 818. They took the plane in Pakistan, and transited through Doha, Qatar en route to Hong Kong. Most had no symptoms.
They included members of at least two families, one of them a mother who took three of her children to attend a wedding in Pakistan in January. She and her children tested positive, along with the new groom who returned with the family.

Another family cluster involved a 24-year-old mother and her two-year-old daughter who had also been in Pakistan since January.

The six others are individual cases.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said in today’s press briefing that the high rate of infection among the returnees from Pakistan is likely the result of the serious outbreak in the South Asian country.

 “The situation is expected, as Pakistan’s pandemic outbreak has been severe these days,” said Chuang said.
Chuang says the outbreak in Pakistan is severe so there is a high rate on infection among returnees from there

Health officials said that of the 1,100 residents who returned from Pakistan over the past several weeks, 33 or 3 percent, had tested positive for Covid-19.

They say this is a “relatively high” rate, compared with those who returned from other countries.
All new arrivals from Pakistan are taken to the government’s quarantine facility at Chun Yeung Estate in Fo Tan. Those who test positive are immediately taken to hospitals, while the rest are made to stay in the facility for the remainder of their 14-day quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Chuang says the source of the last local outbreak involving an elderly couple in Tsuen Wan and their eight-year-old granddaughter remains unknown.

She said all tests on about 1,000 people who lived near the infected patients had yielded negative results.

As the city allowed more businesses to reopen, including karaoke lounges, night clubs and party houses, Chuang urged people not to let their guards down.

She said the public should take particular care in going to karaokes as there have been documented outbreaks in these venues, the reason why they were shut down in early April.
People who sing in karaokes must wear masks, health officials say (RTHK photo)

“(But) we're not very sure whether there's still asymptomatic cases in the community, that's why (when) singing, it's preferable to put on a mask if possible,"
Chuang said.

From Jun 1, air transfers will again be allowed at Hong Kong airport, and this early, transiting passengers are being told not linger around during their stop, and should dine only in designated areas.

As a further precautionary measure, boarding gates will be disinfected after the arrival of each flight, and passengers will be told to stay 1.5 meters apart. The will also be given colored stickers for easy identification.

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