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‘Super spreader’ suspected in 30 Covid-19 cases in TST restaurant

26 February 2021

By The SUN 

Mr Ming's Facebook page says the restaurant has been closed for disinfection until Mar 12

A female cleaner could be a coronavirus “super spreader” who infected about 30 people in a posh Chinese restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Centre for Health Protection revealed in the press briefing today, Jan 26.

CHP’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said 24 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed overnight, 18 of them locally acquired.

Pindutin para sa detalye!

More than 20 preliminary positive cases were also detected, including 11 linked to Mr Ming’s Chinese Dining restaurant in K11Musea building, which has now been closed for disinfection.

Eight new confirmed cases were reported from this cluster, raising the total infections there to 19 so far. These include 11 people who dined at the restaurant on Feb 18 and 19, five staff members and three of their close contacts.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Chuang said a female staff who cleaned the tables on the ground floor of the restaurant was suspected to have spread the virus because she had the earliest onset date of symptoms, and was found to have a heavy viral load.

The suspected super spreader cleaned tables in the restaurant

The cleaner was tested with the rest of the staff on Feb 14, and all were found to be negative the next day.  But she started having a cough on Feb 18 and on the next day, Feb 19, worked until 4pm.


“She did not go to work on the 18th but did go on the 19th and that could be the reason why so many were infected,” said Chuang.

She said there were a total of 76 people who dined at eight tables in the restaurant on the indicated days, and health officials are still trying to track them all down so they could be tested. All but one of the patrons who tested positive had lunch there on Feb 19.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

At least one confirmed case was detected through the LeaveHomeSafe app, which was required to be installed by all restaurants starting Feb 18, to store data from people who enter their premises.

Nine others contacted the CHP’s hotline, 1823, and all have been sent to a quarantine center as they are considered as “high risk.”

Meanwhile, two of the six new imported cases were found to carry the N501Y variant of the coronavirus, which was first detected in Britain. One flew in from Pakistan on Feb 14, and the other, from Ukraine, on Feb 18.

Also among them was a foreign domestic worker from the Philippines who arrived on Feb 20 via Cebu Pacific and had to re-tested while in quarantine because of a “leakage” in her first test at the airport.

The others are returnees from India and Pakistan, and an air crew from the United States, who all arrived on Feb 24 and tested positive at the airport.

According to Chuang, there are now 43 patients found to have the variant: 27 with the UK type, 4 with the one from South Africa, three from Brazil, and 9 of indeterminate origin.

2 new cases of the British variant of the coronavirus have been detected from new arrivals

The sole confirmed case with unknown source is a 59-year-old man who works as an engineer in Tai Kok Tsui.

The preliminary cases with untraceable sources include a wheelchair-bound 86-year-old woman who had a cough on Feb 1 but was taken to hospital only yesterday. She is now in a hospital in critical condition.

Another is a 45-year-old male school teacher, a 48-year-old man who works in Lincoln House in Taikoo Place, a 16-year-old male student who lives in Yau Ma Tei, a 42-year-old female clerk who works in Causeway Bay, a 22-year-old woman who works in a kindergarten school in Hung Hom, and a 38-year-old man who works as a chef in Yuen Long.

Chuang said that although there has been a decline in cases, the high proportion of those with unknown sources has prompted the government to study how close contacts can be better traced.

Several options are being studied, including a quarantine of those who had close contacts with a patient seven days before the onset of illness, and the issuing of a compulsory testing order for all staff in a small company when at least one case is detected there.

According to Dr Sara Ho from the Hospital Authority, as of 9am today, 205 confirmed patients were being treated in 24 public hospitals and the treatment facility at AsiaWorld Expo. Of these, 18 are in critical condition, 10 are serious, and the remaining 177 are in stable condition.

Ho also announced that starting today, the new North Lantau Hospital has begun accepting Covid-19 patients. Five confirmed patients were among the first to be treated there.

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