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More lockdowns in Kwai Chung as 124 new cases recorded

25 January 2022

By The SUN

 

CE Lam says another Kwai Chung block will be locked down for 5 days  

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has ordered another housing block in Kwai Chung Estate to be locked down for five days after 10 new cases were found there.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Executive Council meeting today, Jan 25, Mrs Lam said the five-day lockdown of Ha Kwai House began last night so it will remain sealed off until Jan 28.

Mrs Lam also said that the lockdown of Yat Kwai House will be extended for two more days after the number of infections in the building climbed to 150. Its five-day lockdown was supposed to end early Wednesday.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

Another building, Ying Kwai House, is also due to end its five-day lockdown on Friday. The CE said the government will review the situation in the building before deciding if an extension is necessary.

“I totally understand affected residents of Kwai Chung Estate would feel very upset and anxious upon hearing the announcements, but I ask for your understanding,” she said.

“This wave of outbreaks comes fast and fierce, so we have to adopt relatively assertive and stringent measures to cut the transmission chains.”

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

She also said that while it’s unlikely social distancing measures can be relaxed drastically before the Lunar New Year, she said the government will see whether there is room to make “slight adjustments.”

This could include bringing forward the implementation of a vaccine bubble, and expand it further. The new virus control measure which was originally set to start on Feb 24, will allow only vaccinated people to enter certain venues, like restaurants and schools.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection said in its daily press briefing that 124 additional confirmed cases of Covid-19 were confirmed as of midnight last night.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Of these, 93 are local cases, including six whose sources are untraceable. The 31 imported cases include 21 aboard an Indian vessel docked at Hong Kong port.

More than 70 preliminary positive cases have been recorded.

CHP said the number of infected people linked to Kwai Chung Estate has gone up to 276

CHP’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said the biggest cluster of cases were found in Kwai Chung Estate, where 276 people have tested positive so far, including 33 reported today.

Chuang gave the breakdown as follows:

 Yat Kwai House - 15 residents and 1 security guard

 Ying Kwai House - 4 residents

 Ha Kwai House - 10 residents

 Yuk Kwai House - 1 resident

 Nga Kwai House - 1 resident

 Yuk Kwai House - 1 resident

CE Lam noted that the number of cases in Kwai Chung Estate continues to rise each day. From nine cases recorded on Jan 20 (Thursday), the tally rose to 20 on Friday, 105 on Saturday, 173 on Sunday and 226 yesterday on Monday. Today it went up to 276.

Press for details

She said the infection appears to spread, with positive cases being reported within 10 blocks of the estate.

Asked why the entire estate was not being locked down despite the massive outbreak, she said 35,000 people live there, and she worries how the long isolation would impact their daily lives.

Secondly, government resources are limited. She mentioned that everyone who tests positive is taken to hospital and treated until they have recovered. There are not a lot of places in the world where this is done, she said.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

Mrs Lam also noted other growing clusters of infection, including one in Wong Tai Sin where both the Omicron and Delta variants have been found in the sewage water.

She said the tainted water led to the discovery of an individual who bought a hamster and started feeling sick on Jan 15. The patient, who was later found to carry the Delta variant, did not follow instructions to hand over the hamster to the government to be tested and put down.

She also expressed concern over some clusters started by residents at Yat Kwai House, including the outbreak at a construction site in Mong Kok, where 10 cases have now been recorded. More than 100 colleagues and friends of the resident will now be moved to Penny’s Bay for quarantine.

If necessary, the CE said it will consider asking help from the Mainland Government if there is a need to further expand Hong Kong’s capacity to test for Covid-19 as it did two years ago.

The vaccine bubble project will start earlier than expected

As of yesterday, she said 78.1% of the eligible population has had their first shot of a Covid-19 vaccine. More than 800,000 people have had their third, or booster, shot.

She promised to update the public on social distancing measures before the start of the Lunar New Year. She advised everyone not to socialize too much over the holidays.

Meantime, she continued to express disappointment in Home Affairs Secretary Caspar Tsui. Despite completing his quarantine at Penny’s Bay after being found to have attended a large gathering where two infected people were among the guests, the CE said she has requested Tsui not to go back to work just yet.

She said the result of a full investigation into the incident which involved a couple of officials and legislators, will be announced before the start of the Lunar New Year holidays.

“I have already asked that he should not come to work until the investigation is completed and the results announced to the public, including any possible sanctions,” she said.

“That is the reason why I have asked him to continue to take his leave and not to come to office because he is in a very important position, the Secretary for Home Affairs.”

Asked why she has been seen without a mask lately, the CE said she has stopped wearing one while speaking to the media, or to the public through the media, including when she delivered her Policy Address at the Legislative Council.

“The people of Hong Kong have to hear very clearly from the Chief Executive what are the messages that she is conveying to the public,” she said.

Wearing a mask will not allow people to see her feelings when she speaks, she said.

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