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140 new Covid-19 cases reported, highest in over a year

23 January 2022

By The SUN 

CE Lam, Chief Secretary John Lee and Housing Secretary Frank Chan on site visit in Kwai Chung

Hong Kong
health officials have reported 140 Covid-19 cases today, Jan 23, the highest number since the third wave of infections swept across in the city in July 2020.

Of these, 125 were local infections and 15 were imported. The bulk of the cases, or 104 in all, were detected during the lockdowns of several housing blocks in Kwai Chung Estate.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam paid a short inspection visit to the estate late this afternoon, accompanied by Chief Secretary John Lee and Secretary for Housing and Transport Frank Chan.

The city’s top official was seen looking up at the buildings that had been locked down for mass testing, but did not speak to reporters.

Pindutin para sa detalye

At a press conference earlier, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said that the Omicron-fueled outbreak at Kwai Chung Estate had now expanded to 170 cases, with patients coming from seven blocks in the public housing estate.

Most of the cases – either confirmed or preliminary positive with the Covid-19 virus – were from Yat Kwai House and Ying Kwai House, which are both under a five-day lockdown.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE
Four other buildings were locked down overnight, while the 11 remaining blocks were put under compulsory testing.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said 94 of the cases involved residents and visitors at Yat Kwai House, nine from Ying Kwai House and one from Nga Kwai House.

HK's top health officials report on the 140 new Covid-19 cases

She said that so far, more than 100 preliminary positive cases have been recorded, indicating the outbreak in Kwai Chung Estate is far from over.

Among the Yat Kwai cases was a patient care assistant at Prince of Wales Hospital, whose job entailed her preparing materials inside an operation room.

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Six patients were listed as her close contact and will be quarantined while another 140 staff at the hospital will have to be tested.

The infected worker met up with another assistant who works in the pediatric intensive care unit at Princess Margaret Hospital at Yat Kwai House on Jan. 16. The second assistant tested positive after the gathering.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

Another Yat Kwai resident who works at a Mannings shop in Kwai Hing appears to have infected a colleague. Chuang said an outbreak is suspected at the store.

Also among the confirmed cases was a patient who bought a hamster on Jan 7 from the Mong Kok branch of the Little Boss pet shop chain. The patient tested positive for the Delta variant, which is believed to have been passed on to humans by hamsters in the shop.

Four of the new cases are unlinked, including an 18-year-old female student at Delia Memorial School (Glee Path) in Mei Foo. She lives in Fu Tak House in Tai Wo Hau Estate.

The others were a six-year-old boy who lives in Block A of Coastal Skyline, Tung Chung; a 31-year-old woman who lives in Mei Pak Court in Tai Wai; and a 44-year-old man who works as an elevator maintenance worker at Mitsubishi and lives in Sunshine City in Ma On Shan.

Among the preliminary cases was a patient who bought a hamster on Jan 7 from the Mong Kok branch of Little Boss pet shop chain.

Separately, the Agriculture and Fisheries Conservation Department (AFCD) said a hamster surrendered by its owner tested positive for Covid-19. Everyone in the owner’s household had been sent to a quarantine centre as a result.

The AFCB said it was the 77th hamster to be turned in by its owner, in line with a directive to surrender all of such pets bought after Dec 22 for tests and a mass cull.

The order was issued after 11 hamsters in the Little Boss shop in Causeway Bay were found to carry the Delta variant.

The department said further tests showed seven more hamsters from the pet shop carried the virus, as well as three from another branch and its warehouse in Tai Po.

Environmental samples taken from various branches of the shop located across Hong Kong also tested positive for the virus.

The AFCD repeated its advice for people to hand in recently bought hamsters, as they could pass on the virus to them if they are similarly infected.

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