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60 new Covid-19 cases recorded, 47 of them linked to gym

12 March 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap

The number of cases at Ursus Fitness has now grown to 64

Health authorities have ordered everyone working in gyms to get tested for coronavirus by Sunday, as the number of infections from a Sai Ying Pun fitness center grew to 64  within just three days.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said at today’s press briefing that the number of cases from Ursus Fitness on Pokfulam Road could rise further, as some of about 20 preliminary positive cases are also linked to the gym.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Chuang said that of the 60 new Covid-19 cases recorded as of today, Mar 12,  54 were locally acquired and six were imported. Of the 54 local cases, 47 cases were linked to Ursus, comprising 40 customers and 7 close contacts.

Including the 17 cases recorded on Wednesday and Thursday, there are now a total of 64 infections detected from this cluster. They include 7 staff, 50 customers and 7 close contacts.

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Chuang said the new infections were detected from among 240 close contacts from the gym who were sent to quarantine centers earlier. As of today, the number of those in quarantine centers has grown to 360, with 450 others ordered to undergo testing.

Earlier, health authorities also mandated that everyone who goes to a gym should wear a mask at all times, except when taking a shower, or eating and drinking.

The mandatory testing order was issued following the discovery that most of those infected had gone to various fitness clubs across Hong Kong island.


Among those Chuang mentioned were Pure Fitness (with branches in Central and Wanchai), Ultimate Fitness, H Core (Central and Taikoo), Optimum Performance, H.I.T, House of Fitness, Athletic Club and Pure Yoga.

“We have a lot of cases where people go to work, so we want details (of possible infections) as soon as possible,” she said, adding that among those infected were bankers and lawyers, aside from teachers.


She also mentioned that among the preliminary positive cases is a 34-year-old female fitness trainer who works in One PT on Pottinger Street in Central who last went to work on Mar 10.

But she said the CHP has yet to find out if the case is related to Ursus.

On being asked if the gym outbreak could indicate the start of the fifth wave of infections, Chuang said she did not want to see it as such. However, since a lot of people are involved, there is indication the virus had been spreading for a long time.

Pindutin para sa detalye

She said investigations have indicated that the virus spread from person to person because many of the customers did not wear masks while doing intense workouts, plus they went to the gym repeatedly during the incubation period.

The first patient to report the earliest onset was said to be a gym customer, who had symptoms on Mar 6. Most of the other confirmed patients reported having symptoms by Mar 10 or 11.


But Chuang said this did not mean that the customer was the index patient because there could have been a silent transmission going on, meaning an asymptomatic person could have started the spread of the virus.

Among the seven other confirmed local cases were a 12-year-old female student, a security guard, a staff at Enterprise Square Tower in Kowloon Bay, and  an attendant at an exhibition centre in Tseung Kwan O.

CHP says it's not clear if the preliminary case from One PT is linked to Ursus 

Apart from the fitness trainer at One PT, the preliminary cases include a man working in the maintenance department of Hong Kong Sanatorium, and a woman who gave birth at Queen Elizabeth on Mar 4 who was found infected only after repeated tests.

The six imported cases included two newly arrived foreign domestic workers from Indonesia, one of whom tested positive on her 12th day in quarantine; another DH as well as two returnees from India; and an air crew who flew in after traveling through various countries, including the United States and Japan.

Chuang said one of the imported cases had the highly infections coronavirus variant, but did not indicate who the patient was.

Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally is now 11,211 but only 206 confirmed patients are still confined in public hospitals and the treatment facility in North Lantau District Hospital.

Linda Yu, a chief manager of the Hospital Authority, said all patients at the community treatment facility at AsiaWorld Expo have been moved to North Lantau hospital as of this morning.

The AWE facility, which was used to treat more than 3,000 patients who were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, will be on standby in case of any future need.

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