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HK has 70 new Covid-19 cases, as super spreader infects more people

28 December 2020

By The SUN 

There are now 22 confirmed and preliminary positive cases from the UCH cluster

Hong Kong reported 70 new coronavirus cases today, Dec 27, as health officials kept their eye on a cluster outbreak at United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong where an 84-year-old female super spreader was said to have infected 21 patients and staff.

Two more patients were added to the cluster, which grew to 19 by early this morning. Including the super-spreader, the total number of confirmed and preliminary positive cases in the cluster is now 22.

Also today, a 92-year-old woman with chronic illness who had tested positive for Covid-19 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital died at 3:22pm. She was admitted on Dec 14 with abdominal pain. She was the 133rd coronavirus death in Hong Kong public hospitals so far.

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Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection, said today’s cases took the total tally in Hong Kong to 8,611. The new cases were 34 men and 36 women aged between 8 months old and 92 years old.

Chuang said the lone imported case was a man who arrived from Britain on Dec 7 on CX250. The man tested negative at the end of his 14-day quarantine and went back home, where there was dinner with family members.

But on the 19th day after his arrival he had a third test and was confirmed positive, Chuang said.

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The CHP official said it was likely the transmission took place in Hong Kong.

“We preliminarily classified this as an imported case that will be DNA-tested to verify whether this is an imported or a locally acquired case,” Chuang said.

Chuang and Lau at the daily press update on Covid-19

For the 69 local cases, Chuang said 23 had unknown sources, 7 were linked to the United Christian Hospital cluster, and 39 were linked to previous cases.

Among the new cases was a Vietnamese illegal immigrant who was nabbed by police in Ta Kwo Ling on Dec 21 and detained at Sheung Shui and Ta Kwo Ling police stations before being turned over to the Castle Peak Immigration Centre, where he was tested.

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The CHP put his CT value at more than 30. The CHP could not tell where he had been and who were with him before his arrest. Two Vietnamese close contacts at CIC tested negative and would be quarantined. All new detainees will have their saliva tested.

At United Christian, 11 patients and 5 hospital workers came down with the virus, said Chuang. Five other hospital staff and one patient were preliminary positive, she added.

The CHP said it will issue mandatory testing orders to UCH staff, patients and visitors to the infected Ward 2D and the Intensive Care Unit, where the super spreader had stayed before being found positive on Dec 26.

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A mobile swabbing center will be set up Monday until Dec 31 outside the hospital.

Dr Lau Ka-hin, chief manager at the Hospital Authority, said high-efficiency air filters will be installed in all wards of UCH to improve air quality at the advice of Dr Yuen Kwok-yung, microbiologist at University of Hong Kong who inspected UCH yesterday.

He said all the infected persons in the hospital would be moved to an isolation ward for treatment.

Meanwhile, Lau said as of 9am today, 80 confirmed Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, bringing the total patients released to 7,474.

He said a total of 901 confirmed patients are confined in 23 public hospitals and the treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo, of whom 55 are in critical condition, 68 are in serious condition and the remaining 778 are in stable condition.

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