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Another Covid-19 patient escapes from hospital; 68 new cases reported

31 December 2020

 By The SUN 

The elderly patient  walked out while waiting to be admitted to isolation at PYNEH

Security has been tightened further at public hospitals after an elderly patient who has tested preliminary positive for Covid-19 managed to walk out of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital yesterday, Dec 30.

According to Dr Sara Ho, a chief manager at the Hospital Authority, the 87-year-old male patient was waiting to be admitted to an isolation ward when he was found missing at about 5pm. He was found by hospital staff about an hour later at a nearby bus stop, along with a concerned citizen who took him there.

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Dr Ho said the hospital have been told to beef up security, while a guard has been stationed outside the ward.

The patient was at Penny’s Bay quarantine facility earlier, but was taken to the hospital by ambulance after feeling unwell.

He was the second patient to run away from a hospital in 12 days. On Dec 18, a 63-year-old male patient walked out of isolation in Queen Elizabeth Hospital and was found two days later in Mong Kok.

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Dr  Chuang  Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection reported that 68 new Covid-19 cases have been detected, 62 of which were locally acquired.

All the imported cases are males, including a 49-year-old returnee from the Philippines, two each from India and the United States, and one from Germany.

About 40 preliminary positive cases have been recorded.

Patient with the S African variant arrived in HK early this month

Dr Chuang also disclosed that the first case of a mutant Covid-19 strain from South Africa was found in a 29-year-old man who arrived in Hong Kong earlier this month. The man came back with a friend who also tested positive for the virus but did not carry the variant strain.

Another notable case mentioned was that of a critically ill patient who died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Dec 21. A day earlier, the male patient received blood from a donor who recently tested positive for coronavirus.

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Ho said it was not likely that the patient’s death was caused by the blood he received from the infected donor, but from his original illness.

“In fact, he has serious underlying disease, that’s why he needed platelets transfusion. The cause of death is likely related to his underlying disease and the case was already referred to the coroner and the coroner will conduct the relevant investigation,” she said.

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The rest of the donated blood has been disposed of.

Another case mentioned involves a patient assistant at Tuen Mun hospital who tested preliminary positive.

Six patients who he fed in a general ward, along with four colleagues he had meals with, have been classified as close contacts, and will be quarantined.

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Chuang apologized for wrongly adding three housing blocks in the list of buildings for which mandatory testing had been ordered for residents, saying in one case, the patient had long been admitted to hospital, and in another, the wrong address was given.

However, three other blocks were added today for having two unlinked cases, so the total number of flagged buildings remain at 43.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Two infected patients passed away in the past 24 hours, raising the death toll in public hospitals to 144. One was a 77-year-old man who died at 10am this morning at Caritas Medical Centre. The other was an 89-year-old female with terminal illness who succumbed at United Christian Hospital at 4:58pm yesterday.

As of 9am today, 788 confirmed patients were being treated in 22 public hospitals and the treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo. Of these, 51 are in critical condition, 47 are seriously ill, and the rest are stable.

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