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HK to conduct mass testing as 3rd new local case confirmed

13 May 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap

Health officials will screen shopkeepers in this Tsuen Wan market which the elderly patient often visited

Hong Kong health officials have said that they will step up testing for  Covid-19, after two new local cases were confirmed today, May 13. Preliminary results for a third member of their family also reportedly returned a positive result.

A 66-year-old woman and her 5-year-old granddaughter who both live in Tsuen Wan and had no recent travel history, were reported as infected by Hong Kong health authorities this afternoon. A few hours later, the woman's husband also tested positive for the virus.

The elderly woman fell ill on May 8, but only sought treatment at an outpatient clinic three days later, on May 11, when she was tested for the virus. The result came out positive yesterday, and a second test confirmed she had the virus.

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She told doctors she regularly went to Tsuen Wan market and to her son’s house nearby to look after her granddaughter.

After she was found infected, health staff checked on seven other members of the two households, and found all but one with mild symptoms of cough and fever. The ones with symptoms were put under isolation in hospitals, including her granddaughter and husband, while the sole asymptomatic member was taken to a quarantine centre.

Subsequent tests showed the granddaughter, who fell ill starting on May 11, also had the virus.

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Investigations showed the young girl had been to several places during the incubation period, including the market, a tuition center where another student and a tutor were present, and a restaurant in Olympic Plaza.

She also went for a meal at her maternal grandmother’s house in Charming Garden, Tai Kok Tsui.

Health officials admit they are concerned about the cases, as the city had been free of local infections for more than three weeks before this.
But Undersecretary for Food and Health Dr Chui Tak-yi said the government thinks that at this point, there is no need to reintroduce stricter distancing measures eased just a few days ago. Schools are also still on track to reopen in phases starting on May 27.

“We will continue to monitor the development of the virus,” Chui said. “We will not hesitate to take new necessary measures (if necessary).”

Nevertheless, mass testing will be conducted as a result of the resurgence of local cases.
 
All residents of block 5 of Lei Muk Shue Estate will be tested (Wikipedia)
Centre for Health Protection’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said that tests will be administered on a total of 860 households. These include residents of Block 5 of Lei Muk Shue Estate where the elderly woman lives, as well as Cheuk Ming Mansion where the granddaughter lives.

Shopkeepers at the market will also be screened, as well as staff and students who attended the tutorial center at the same time as the girl.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

Relatives on her mother’s side who shared a meal with the girl at her other grandmother’s house will also be tested.

A third case involving a 34-year-old man who flew in from Pakistan via Qatar Air yesterday, was also reported today, bringing Hong Kong’s tally to 1,051.

The patient, who was asymptomatic, was transferred to a hospital from mandatory quarantine at Chun Yeung estate.

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