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Hong Kong’s Covid-19 tally soars past 3k with 118 new cases, 2 deaths

29 July 2020

By The SUN

Two more seafarers from the Philippines tested positive on arrival today at HK airport 

There has been no let-up in the surge of new Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong, with 118 new infections reported today, Jul 29.

The new cases brought the city’s total tally to 3,003.

It’s the seventh day in a row that the number of new cases each day has exceeded 100.
Of the new cases, five were imported, and three of them were seafarers, two from the Philippines, and one from India. Two flew in from the United States and Ethiopia.

Shipping crew have been dominating the list of imported cases since they were required to submit to mandatory testing on arrival in Hong Kong on Jul 8.

Inevitably, many of those who test positive are Filipinos, as they make the most number of seafarers around the world. But they still account for a small percentage of the daily infections recorded in Hong Kong.  
As of today, air and sea crew were also required to submit a negative result for a swab test conducted 48 hours prior to boarding their flight to Hong Kong.

But the three who tested negative should have arrived before the new rules took effect, as the cut-off time for inclusion to the daily list of confirmed cases is midnight the previous day.

Within the past 24 hours, two more deaths were recorded, both involving elderly patient, which brought the total fatality toll to 24. Seventeen of these deaths occurred within this month.
A 76-year-old female patient at Queen Elizabeth Hospital died at 8:11am today, five days after her condition deteriorated.

She was admitted on Jun 30 due to shortness of breath and heart failure, and had shared a ward with another elderly patient who was found to have Covid-19.

Another patient, an 85-year-old man, died yesterday afternoon at Pamela Youde Nethorsole Hospital, but his death was reported only late last night.

He was the fifth former elderly patient from the virus-plagued Kong Tai Care for the Aged Center in Tsz Wan Shan to have succumbed to the disease.
Health officials have again said the elderly should avoid going out as they are most vulnerable 
The deaths prompted a new warning from health officials for the elderly to remain at home, and for their family members to ensure they are safe.
Hospital Authority chief manager Sara Ho also renewed an appeal for Covid-19 patients who have been asked to remain at home pending their transfer to hospitals, to remain patient.
Ho said the hospitals remain overwhelmed, despite the transfer of more than 350 patients from isolation rooms to tier-2 beds in isolation wards, and the treatment facility in Lei Yue Mun.
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She said around 100 patients are still waiting to be admitted to hospital even after more than 300 beds have been freed up because it takes time to prepare the isolation rooms for the next patients.
By next Saturday, she said the treatment facility at the AsiaWorld-Expo should start accepting between 20-30 younger patients with minor symptoms for check-up.
Around 100 beds will be available initially, but the intake will gradually increase, as the facility can accommodate as many as 500 patients.
Dr Chuang Shuk-wan of the Centre for Health Protection said meanwhile that the four quarantine facilities have a total of 2,600 units, and about half of them are currently occupied.
Of today’s 113 locally acquired cases, she said 67 were linked to previous infections, mostly involving family members and friends. The sources of the 56 other cases are still being investigated.
Among the biggest cluster of cases were the six confirmed infections at the Cornwall Elderly Home in Tuen Mun. Four of these are staff, and two are residents.
There  were also two nurses at the Po Chung Cheun Ying Home for the Elderly who tested positive; along with another nurse at the Hong Kong Society for the Blind, and staff at King Fok Nursing Home in Lee Cheng Uk.
There were also four new confirmed cases linked to the Kin Shing construction company, where up to 17 previous infections were recorded.
However, Chuang rejected a claim that there is an outbreak at construction sites, saying there have been more cases linked to restaurants, including a new one at the Fulum Restaurant in Tuen Mun.
Ho reported that four support staff at Princess Margaret Hospital also tested preliminary positive. Three of them worked in the same ward, while the fourth worked in the oncology department and was tasked with taking patients’ vital signs.
Six close contacts of the ward staff have been quarantined, as well as 10 of their colleagues who shared meals with them. The other staff in the ward wore adequate PPEs and were not considered as close contacts.

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