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HK to review gym restrictions after Covid-19 cases in Ursus balloon to 50

11 March 2021

By Daisy C L Mandap 

17 confirmed and more than 30 preliminary cases are linked to Ursus Fitness in Sai Ying Pun

Health authorities say they will review anti-gathering restrictions in gyms after a coronavirus cluster in a popular fitness centre in Sai Ying Pun appears to have grown to  more than 50 cases.

According to Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection, 16 of the 19 new local cases of Covid-19 recorded today, Mar 11, were linked to Ursus Fitness, where one trainer tested positive earlier.

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Of the 17 confirmed cases, six are said to be staff members and 10 are customers.

More than 30 preliminary positive cases have also been traced to this cluster, mostly customers and their close contacts, so the total number of infections could grow to more than 50, she said.

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“Altogether we may have more than 50 staff and clients affected,” she said.

At least 240 people who visited the fitness centre from Mar 1 to 9 will be moved to quarantine centers.


Undersecretary for Food & Health Chui Tak-yi said the government will consider tightening anti-virus restrictions in gyms as a result.

“While we are in the process of evaluating or reviewing the social distancing measures in the next cycle, we will consider whether, or how, to tighten restrictions in these particular type of premises,” he said.


Ursus Fitness was shut yesterday after the cluster emerged, and CHP experts went there to take environmental samples. But all the 20 samples they took tested negative for the virus, said Chuang.

She said all 10 staff at the gym worked on the same day and had the same classes, and some did not wear masks during the intense workout. Some of the coaches also worked in other gyms, raising the possibility of the cluster growing further.


Among today’s confirmed cases linked to the gym is a teacher at the French International School in Tseung Kwan O, so the school needs to close for disinfection, says Chuang.

She did not mention any other school linked to the outbreak, but some media reports say nine schools have suspended classes as a result. At least three cited the Ursus infections as reason.


A number of residential blocks, many in upmarket Mid-Levels and Pokfulam where the infected patients live, have been placed under compulsory testing orders today because of the outbreak.

They include May Tower, Yukon Court, Bon-Point, Golden Phonenix, Kam-Ning Mansion, Po Lam Court, Bonham Mansion, Cape Mansions, The Belcher’s Tower, and Bishop Lei Hotel.

The other residences placed under mandatory testing are Le Sommet and Maylun Apartments in North Point, Village Terrace in Wanchai, Yip Cheong Building in Shek Tong Tsui, 293 and 345 Queen’s Road West in Sai Yung Pun, and Fu Chak House in Sham Shui Po.

22 cases were reported by health officials, 19 of them local

Meanwhile, three imported cases were also reported, rounding off the day’s tally to 22.

They included two Indonesian domestic helpers who tested positive on their 12th day in hotel quarantine, and a flight attendant who came from Belgium, and was found to have the more infectious coronavirus variant.

The three untraceable cases included a retiree, a housewife and a dishwasher in a Sham Shui Po restaurant.

Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally is now 11,151, but only 200 confirmed patients are still in public hospitals and the treatment facilities in AsiaWorld-Expo and North Lantau District Hospital.

Of these, 13 are in critical condition, 12 are seriously ill, and 175 are stable.


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