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Four returning residents from Pakistan test positive for Covid-19

08 May 2020

By The SUN

Chuang allays fears of new local infections, saying all new cases for the past 18 days were imported

Four new coronavirus cases were reported yesterday, May 7, all involving residents who flew in from Pakistan the night before.

The new infections brought the city’s total to 1,044, and marred plans to further ease social distancing restrictions from tomorrow.

The new patients, aged 11 to 47, ended two days of zero infection in Hong Kong, but also marked the 18th day of no local outbreak.


Cinemas, bars, amusement centers, beauty, massage and mahjong parlors are among the business establishments set to reopen from tomorrow, but with some safety measures in place.

Speaking at today’s health press briefing, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection played down the risk of new local outbreaks with the impending opening of leisure facilities, such as Ocean Park.

“As some of the restrictions on group gatherings are to be relaxed this midnight, the authorities will be closely monitoring any local cases,” Chuang said.
“The recent cases have been directly picked up at the airport and they have not stayed in the community. So, I think the risk for local transmission is now very low,” she said.

Chuang said the four patients returned from Pakistan via Doha on Qatar Airways flight 818. They left Hong Kong between February and April and were all asymptomatic upon arrival, she said.

But they were found positive when saliva samples they submitted at AsiaWorld-Expo were tested. They were first taken to an isolation facility at the Chun Yueng Estate quarantine site in Fotan, Shatin.
The 11-year-old boy as well as two men aged 29 and 40 were moved later today to the Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, while a 47-year-old man was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kowloon.
 
More people are going out of their homes, but still mindful that local infections could reemerge
A new case of re-infection was also reported, that of a 36-year-old male who tested positive again after being discharged from hospital.

Dr Lau Ka-hin from the Hospital Authority said the patient was first admitted to Queen Mary Hospital on Mar 24 after running a fever for a week. He was discharged on Apr 16.

But on May 5 the man developed a cough and diarrhea and was sent back to Queen Mary. Lau said the patient was not thought to be infectious.

He is the 10th patient to be hospitalized for Covid-19 relapse after being discharged.

Chuang said medical studies suggest such re-infections are possible.
“Yesterday, our Committee on Emerging Symptomatic Diseases revealed the latest scientific data on Covid and the virus,” she said.

“Scientific evidence suggests that some people may have prolonged virus shedding,” Chuang said. In the case of patient 410th, the residue from the virus was not detected for 10 days, she said. 

Lau also said 12 more patients were discharged in the past 24 hours, making the total number of recovered patients to 945. Only 120 others are still in hospital. The death toll remains at 4.

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