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HK records 125 new cases, all except 1 local

01 August 2020

By The SUN

Health officials say many of the new cases involved family members gathering together for meals

For the first time in more than three weeks, no Filipino was among the 125 new Covid-19 cases reported in Hong Kong today, Aug. 1.

It was also the first time that only one imported case was recorded since the third wave of infections was noted earlier this month, a new arrival from Britain.

The last time no Filipino was included in the daily tally was on Jul 6. The biggest number of newly arrived travelers from Manila found to be infected on arrival at Hong Kong airport was on Jul 19, involving 10 domestic helpers and five seafarers.
But health officials remain concerned as local infections have continued to surge, hitting more than 100 cases for the 11th straight day.

Five deaths, again involving elderly patients, were reported over the past 24 hours, raising the fatality toll to 31.

Of the new local cases, 62 involved family members and their friends, prompting an appeal from Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection for residents to stop their usual weekend gatherings.

“We observed that there a number of household clusters…many of them get the whole family infected,” she said. “We do not have, any of us, do not have immunity, that’s why once introduced into the family, the whole family may get infected.”

Family gatherings, especially at dinnertime, appear to have become more frequent since the government stopped dine-ins at restaurants from 6pm.

With many people on work-from-home arrangements, dinner gatherings among family members and friends have become the trend, often to the detriment of foreign domestic workers who have taken to venting on social media about having to serve as many as 30 people during a meal.
Chuang said this must stop, as there have been cases of children falling ill along with grandparents because of the weekend dinner gatherings among extended family members belonging to different households.

“I think we may have to stop this practice for one or two weeks to maintain the social distancing because once any one (in the family) gets infected, it is very likely…other members will get infected,” she said.
The CHP says the elderly are most vulnerable, so they should not be included in big family gatherings

Among the new family infections reported was that involving a doctor at the Caritas Medical Centre who tested preliminary positive this morning, hours after a family member was found infected with the virus.


Dr Sara Ho of the Hospital Authority said the doctor went to work at the general ward of the hospital yesterday, but he wore a surgical mask and observed proper hygiene, like frequent washing of hands.
But the biggest number of related cases reported today were the eight linked to an outbreak at a multi-level marketing office called Global Star on Argyle Street, Kowloon.

Chuang said there are altogether 10 cases linked to this cluster, and involved several young people taking part in training seminars, meeting and eating together.

She said the police have been asked for help in contact tracing, since as many as 100 people had taken part in some of the gatherings in the basement-level office which was into the direct selling of cosmetics and wine.

There were also three new cases linked to the Sheung Shui abattoir, which was first detected last week among workers tasked with transporting pigs to the slaughterhouse.

Ho said there are 1,182 patients confined in 17 public hospitals and in Lei Yue Mun community facility. Of these, 37 are critical, 44 are serious, and the 1,101 others are in stable condition.

She also announced that the new community treatment centre at AsiaWorld-Expo began operating at noon today, and took in between 20-30 younger patients with little or no symptoms.

The AWE centre, which she said was inspired by similar facilities in the mainland, Singapore and Britain, can hold as many as 500 patients.

The most recent deaths included an 86-year-old man with long-term illness who died at Queen Mary Hospital at about 9am. The patient was a resident of Kong Tai Care for the Aged Centre, where dozens of residents and staff had been taken ill.

Another patient, a 79-year-old woman, died at 2:31pm today at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. She was admitted to the hospital on Jul 29 due to fever and asthma.

Earlier, two patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Tuen Mun Hospital also died. The QEH patient was a 79-year-old male patient who was admitted on Jul 27 due to cough. The THM patient was an 89-year-old woman who was admitted on Jul 26 due to fever.

Another patient, an 88-year-old male, also passed away at United Christian Hospital at 5:30am after testing preliminary positive for Covid-19. He will be given a patient number later, making him officially among Hong Kong’s fatalities due to the disease.
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