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HK warns of rapid spread of coronavirus as 86 new cases reported today

11 December 2020

By The SUN 

Dr Chan warns that the current wave is faster, more infectious

Health Secretary Dr Sophia Chan has warned that the current fourth wave of coronavirus infections is spreading faster than the first three rounds.

“In terms of the number of infection clusters, or confirmed cases, or the speed of transmission, this wave is rising more rapidly than the first few,” Dr Chan said during a press briefing of senior government officials today, Dec 11.

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Meanwhile, the government announced in a late bulletin that the work-from-home arrangements for civil servants will be extended to Dec 23, saying the epidemic situation remains severe.

Dr Chan said during a press briefing of senior government officials that the seven-day average for the number of Covid-19 cases had now hit 92.3, and warned that most of these cases were highly infections.

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She said about 90 percent of the new cases were found to carry a CT value of lower than 30, indicating a high viral load.

Today’s 86 new cases were the lowest in the past three days, when the daily tally were all in the three digits.

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But the past few days also saw a surge in the number of patients who were either critically or seriously ill.

Of the 1,148 patients currently confined in 22 public hospitals and the treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo, 44 are said to be critically ill, 65 are in serious condition, while the remaining 1,039 are stable.

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Four deaths have been recorded since the current wave started last month, mostly involving elderly patients, but with one man who was just in his thirties.

Chan said all possible loopholes should be plugged to prevent a further worsening of the outbreak, including imposing more stringent measures on new arrivals from abroad.

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Meanwhile, at today’s press briefing on the latest coronavirus situation, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection revealed that environmental samples taken from four units at a Kowloon housing block showed a heavy viral load.

Dr Chuang said the virus was found in eight of the 22 samples taken from the floor drain outlets and exhaust fans in Block 6 of Richland Gardens in Kowloon Bay where eight residents had tested positive for Covid-19.

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“They all returned positive, and it shows that there is environmental contamination,” she said.

Five cases were detected in three units at Kwong Chi House in Taipo

She also expressed concern about three other housing blocks in Kowloon and the New Territories where a number of infections had been recorded.

They are Lung San House in Wong Tai Sin where three cases in three units were found,; Tat Yi House in Kwun Tong where seven infections from three units were recorded; and Kwong Chi House in Taipo where there were five cases from three units.

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She said testing bottles will be given to residents of the affected blocks, and called on them to take the test while officials are checking whether environmental contamination had occurred.

Of today’s cases, 81 were locally acquired, and five were imported from overseas. Thirty-seven of the local cases were of unknown sources.

More than 50 preliminary cases were recorded, including two staff from the Department of Health which reported the incidents only tonight. One is a non-medical staff who does research on Chinese medicines, while the other works as a dental surgery assistant in the Jockey Club dental clinic on Argyle Street in Mong Kok.

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