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Ferry captain and 3 foreigners among 31 new coronavirus patients

10 January 2021

 By The SUN 

HK Ferry, which services outlying islands, is linked to 4 Covid-19 cases

Hong Kong reported 31 new coronavirus cases today, Jan 10, including one that could indicate a cluster outbreak at the Hong Kong-Kowloon Ferry, health officials said in a daily press briefing.

A coxswain or ship captain at the ferry company tested positive while three of his crewmen were found preliminary-positive yesterday, said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection.

HK-Kowloon Ferry announced the incident on its webpage and said all its ferries, piers, facilities and rest areas have been cleaned and sterilized thoroughly. 

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“With immediate effect, all our staff has arranged to take the Covid-19 test,” the company said. The CHP said about 100 staff were to be tested.

“The coxswain was last on duty on Jan 7 and later tested positive for Covid-19. Three other crew members are preliminary positive including two engineers and one sailor,” the operator said.

One of the engineers was last on duty on Jan 6 and the others on Jan 9 on various routes for Lamma Island, Peng Chau, Hei Ling Chau and the Three-Runway at the Hong Kong International Airport, the company said.

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The company said all staff close contacts with the four crew members are now on leave. 

“We have redeployed the manpower, and our ferry service continues to run as scheduled.  If needed, HKKF will lease vessels from other companies to maintain the normal ferry service,” the operator said. 

Today’s tally was the second-lowest daily total in Hong Kong since the fourth wave of the pandemic began in November.

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The three imported cases included two flight attendants, a 26-year-old female and a 33-year-old male, who visited Turkey, Germany and Japan. The third case was a man aged 51 who arrived on Dec 28 from Brazil and experienced discomfort during quarantine. 

Chuang said 19 of the new cases were linked to previous ones, with 16 related to the confirmed cases in the Central-Kowloon route construction site on Saturday while nine had untraceable sources.

The new patients, 20 of whom were males and the rest females aged from 7 to 80 years old, brought the total tally of cases in Hong Kong to 9,243. There were some 30 preliminary-positive cases, Chuang said.

Chuang says there are more than 30 preliminary positive cases

One was a night staff at Yi Wo Yuen Aged Sanatorium Centre in Hung Hom who was found preliminary positive Saturday, leading to the placing of 31 residents and 15 staff of the elderly home under quarantine.

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She said of the preliminary-positive cases, 13 were linked to prior cases.

Dr Linda Yu, chief manager at the Hospital Authority, said as of 9am today, 601 positive patients were being treated in 23 public hospitals and the AsiaWorld Expo community facility.

She said 39 patients were in critical condition, 44 in serious condition and the remaining 518 in stable condition.

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As of 9am today, 48 confirmed patients had been discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, bringing the total discharged patients to 8,422 confirmed and one probable case.  

Yu said one patient died in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll of patients in public hospitals to 154.

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