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No imported Covid-19 case among 24 new infections today

26 August 2020

The stricter rules for some new arrivals seem to have cut the number of travelers coming in with Covid-19

By The SUN

For the first time in several months, no imported case of Covid-19 was reported in Hong Kong today, Aug. 26. All the 24 new positive cases were locally acquired, with 10 of them from unknown source.

The development comes a month since the government required all passengers coming from high-risk countries like India, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United States, to submit a negative test result for Covid-19 before boarding their flights to Hong Kong.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said at today’s press briefing that as in the past several days, the untraceable cases made up about 30-40% of all cases. Those infected again came from all sectors, including a retiree, family driver, construction worker and security guard.

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These so-called silent transmissions in the community brought on by asymptomatic carriers, is the reason given by the government and health experts in urging all residents to join the universal testing which will kick off on Sept 1, with about 5,000 civil servants helping out.

Of the 14 linked cases today, six are residents and one, a staff member of a care home for people with intellectual disabilities in Lei Muk Shue Estate, Kwai Chung. Dr Chuang said they are among 10 cases detected at the care home so far.

About 50 staff of the care home have been put under quarantine while the 40 or so residents were moved to the treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo where they are being cared for.
There were also two new cases with unknown origin among staff at Princess Margaret Hospital, as well as one from the Victoria Harbour restaurant in Mong Kok.

But a 19-month-old baby boy and his mother who were found to have developed antibodies, suggesting a prior infection, tested negative in the PCR tests yesterday, so they were discharged from hospital.


Chuang said that despite the smaller number of cases, which dipped to just nine on Monday, it is still too early to say that the third wave of infections has been put under control, specially since there are still a lot of silent carriers around.
“The daily numbers go up and down,” said Chuang. “From what we have seen in the past few weeks, sometimes the figures are higher, and sometimes the numbers are lower. We’re seeing a downward trend, even though it’s still not at a very low level yet.”

Asked if the government is right in relaxing some of the gathering restrictions from Friday, Chuang said, “We can’t impose social distancing measures forever.”
 
The key to keeping the number of cases down is self-discipline, says Chuang
She called on residents to continue taking precautionary measures on their own, despite the slight relaxation in the gathering rules.

From Friday, all dine-ins will be allowed until 9pm, and those exercising outside or are in country parks will be allowed to take off their masks. Several specified establishments like beauty parlors and facilities for no-contact sports like golf and tennis will also be opened up.
Dr. Sara Ho from the Hospital Authority announced that as of today, a total of 4,161 patients have been discharged. One patient passed away in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 78.

As of 9am today, 455 confirmed patients were being treated in 19 public hospitals and the AWE community treatment facilities. Among them, 27 are in critical condition, 34 are in serious condition, and 384 are in stable condition.
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