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Coronavirus: Local outbreak in Hong Kong sparks warnings after 9 infected

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Coronavirus: Local outbreak in Hong Kong sparks warnings after 9 infected

Of these, 1,037 patients were discharged and four cases were fatal. 

The local spread is connected to a 34-year-old woman and her husband who were diagnosed on Sunday

Since then, four neighbours, two of the woman’s colleagues, a paramedic who wore only a surgical mask when performing some procedures on the woman while taking her to the hospital, have all tested positive

Local media said the man is the first paramedic in Hong Kong believed to have caught the virus at work

The infected woman is a night-shift worker at a Kerry Logistics warehouse, where she labels food items imported from Britain, local reports said. 

Health Secretary Sophia Chan has said more than 800 samples have been collected from residents for testing

On Monday night, microbiologist Yuen Kwok Yung said there could have been a super-spreader at Sha Tin’s Lek Yuen Estate, where the couple live

The Hong Kong University professor, who advises the government on social distancing measures, said it was unlikely the building has structural issues that led to the cluster

  Related Story Coronavirus microsite: Get latest updates, videos and graphics   Related Story Coronavirus explainers: What you should know to protect yourself   Related Story Coronavirus visual guide: Interactive graphics on the pandemic Prof Yuen told local media that the disease may have spread in the woman’s building because she shared facilities such as lifts, doors and mailboxes with others

He pointed out that the government’s “biggest mistake” so far is not having more people tested as there could be many transmission chains in the community

Hong Kong tests up to 2,000 people a day, compared to around 5,000 in Macau, Prof Yuen said

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HONG KONG – A coronavirus outbreak in a Hong Kong residential estate that ended a 16-day streak of zero local infections has sparked warnings from the city’s Chief Executive, prompting the government to extend existing social distancing measures that are about to expire.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

Local broadcaster TVB on Tuesday (June 2) said the city’s Executive Council has agreed to extend coronavirus prevention measures, including a ban on public gatherings of more than eight people and border restrictions

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday morning expressed concerns about the local outbreak where nine people have been infected with Covid-19

Speaking before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Mrs Lam said health officials are now rushing to test residents living in the same building in Sha Tin to see how far the virus has spread and to locate the source of infection

“I am very worried about this outbreak in community, not because of the number of nine confirmed patients, but also because this particular cluster reflects some characteristics which we might not have seen before

“Living in the same building but not affected by the drainage system or the building’s structures is something that gets me, and also I believe the experts, very worried,” said Mrs Lam, who added that the government will adopt a “cautious and prudent approach” in deciding whether to relax social distancing measures and border controls after this local outbreak

Restrictions have been eased, but the government ban on public gatherings of more than eight people is due to expire on Friday,  while the mandatory 14-day quarantine for people who enter Hong Kong is set to expire later this month

Mrs Lam, asked if the freedom to hold assemblies would be curtailed for a long while, said “public health is also part of national security”. 

“National security is not just about explosives and rifles. National security includes financial security, includes public health security

  Related Story Hong Kong police ban Tiananmen vigil for first time in 30 years   Related Story Hong Kong jobless rate hits 10-year high, government extends Covid-19 social distancing measures   Related Story Hong Kong schools reopen amid easing of anti-virus curbs “When it comes to matters like public security, people will accept, Hong Kong people willingly abide by some of the restrictions in order to protect themselves, their families and society at large,” she said

On Monday, the health authorities reported three more locally acquired Covid-19 infections, bringing the total confirmed Covid-19 cases to 1,087.

Of these, 1,037 patients were discharged and four cases were fatal. 

The local spread is connected to a 34-year-old woman and her husband who were diagnosed on Sunday

Since then, four neighbours, two of the woman’s colleagues, a paramedic who wore only a surgical mask when performing some procedures on the woman while taking her to the hospital, have all tested positive

Local media said the man is the first paramedic in Hong Kong believed to have caught the virus at work

The infected woman is a night-shift worker at a Kerry Logistics warehouse, where she labels food items imported from Britain, local reports said. 

Health Secretary Sophia Chan has said more than 800 samples have been collected from residents for testing

On Monday night, microbiologist Yuen Kwok Yung said there could have been a super-spreader at Sha Tin’s Lek Yuen Estate, where the couple live

The Hong Kong University professor, who advises the government on social distancing measures, said it was unlikely the building has structural issues that led to the cluster

  Related Story Coronavirus microsite: Get latest updates, videos and graphics   Related Story Coronavirus explainers: What you should know to protect yourself   Related Story Coronavirus visual guide: Interactive graphics on the pandemic Prof Yuen told local media that the disease may have spread in the woman’s building because she shared facilities such as lifts, doors and mailboxes with others

He pointed out that the government’s “biggest mistake” so far is not having more people tested as there could be many transmission chains in the community

Hong Kong tests up to 2,000 people a day, compared to around 5,000 in Macau, Prof Yuen said

  Related Stories:  Related Story Coronavirus: English horse racing passes its exam on return to action Related Story Coronavirus: Safe distancing concerns over crowds at Lucky Plaza Related Story 51-year-old Chinese national dies from Covid-19 complications; no new community cases Related Story Face masks to be default option for people when out, face shields don’t provide enough protection Related Story 100-year-old Indonesian woman beats coronavirus Related Story Manila lifts lockdown but many opt to stay home over coronavirus fears Related Story New coronavirus losing potency, top Italian doctor says Related Story Covid-19 and hypertension: What are the links and risks? Related Story Wuhan reports no new asymptomatic Covid-19 cases for first time in nearly 2 months amid aggressive testing Related Story Will US protests spark a second coronavirus wave? Read the latest on the Covid-19 situation in Singapore and beyond on our dedicated site here

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