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60 new Covid-19 cases reported, all locally acquired

12 January 2021

By The SUN 

CE Lam says it's not yet time to relax gathering restrictions

There was not a single imported coronavirus case among the 60 new infections reported today, Jan. 12. 

The number of new cases has hovered between 20 and 60 in the past few days, suggesting an easing of the fourth wave of infections. Despite this, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a press briefing this morning that “now is not yet the time” to relax anti-epidemic restrictions.

Speaking before Tuesday’s executive council meetings, the CE said that despite the decline in coronavirus cases, they are still fluctuating, with new cases being found in hospitals, elderly care homes and construction sites.

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She urged people to avoid gatherings, saying the city should have a “relatively quiet” Lunar New Year, and appealed for understanding to residents stranded overseas due to travel restrictions.

The government had announced last week that the strict social distancing rules that require no more than two people to gather in public, and ban dine-in services at restaurants from 6pm – would remain in place until Jan. 20.

But at the same time, officials said it was not likely that the restrictions would be eased before the Lunar New Year, which will last from Feb 12 to 15.

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Meanwhile, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protections said at today’s coronavirus briefing that an outbreak at an old tenement block on Reclamation Street in Jordan, has worsened, with 10 new cases reported.

The total number of cases in the housing block has now grown to 21, affecting 11 flats in three buildings. Two preliminary positive cases from one of the buildings have also been recorded.

As a result, the compulsory testing order previously issued for 26 Reclamation Street has now been expanded to also include numbers 20, 22 and 24. Chuang said all of these are independent buildings, but are linked to each other within the block.

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“The buildings there are old and have subdivided flats … while some pipes and facilities may be shared. These may pose a higher risk of transmission,” Chuang said.

She said among those living in the affected units are ethnic minority families, mostly South Asian.

Reclamation Road in Jordan, where the 3 infected buildings are located

Worst hit is number 26, where three more residents in two flats tested positive, taking the total from the building to 14 patients in eight homes. Number 20 had five infections in two flats, while number 22 had two patients living in one flat.

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Some of the cases were linked to outbreaks at construction sites for the Tseung Kwan O- Lam Tin tunnel, and the Central to Kowloon highway project, and the third runway at the airport.

Also among the new cases are those involving close contracts of the workers at the Central-Kowloon tunnel project, three ambulancemen at the Tsing Yi Ambulance Depot, three linked to Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry, and a therapist at Princess Margaret Hospital.

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Meanwhile, Hospital Authority’s Dr Sarah Ho said that as of 9am today, 569 confirmed patients were being treated in 25 public hospitals and the treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo. Among them, 41 are in critical condition, 35 are serious, and 493 are in stable condition.

One patients passed away in the past 24 hours, raising the Covid-related death toll in public hospitals to 155.

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