Coronavirus: Hong Kong officials dismiss community outbreak fears after barman is among three new Covid-19 cases

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Hong Kong recorded three new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, with one local infection of unknown origin involving a barman in Tai Po, and two imported cases from Britain, health officials said.

Authorities urged patrons of the A Inn Club bar, on Shun Tak Street, to get tested for the coronavirus, and said the establishment, which has three employees, would be closed for 14 days.

The barman, his family, and his two colleagues have all been quarantined, officials said.

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But the Centre for Health Protection said there was no evidence of a community outbreak, despite eight cases emerging in the Tai Po area in the past five days, all of which were linked to one of the cases from a group of people that stayed at the same beach resort in Mui Wo.

One of the people in that cluster also lives in the same Kwong Fuk Estate, albeit in a different block, as the barman.

“[The barman] was asked if he was related to other earlier cases, but so far, he doesn’t know of the other earlier cases,” Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, said.

The 26-year-old barman developed a minor cough on October 31. He last worked on October 29, and was confirmed as a positive case the day after he went out to a Sushi restaurant in Tai Po, on Wednesday.

Health officials said there were fewer than 10 preliminary positive cases pending confirmation, three of those are of unknown origin.

Among them was a 50-year-old Wan Chai officer worker who lives in Tai Po. His wife has experienced dryness in her throat and is a teacher in S.K.H Holy Spirit Primary School in Lek Yuen, Sha Tin.

She was on campus on Saturday and the school is to close temporarily until the result of her test is known.

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The other two infections from an unknown source were a 38-year-old foreign national who is an office worker in Central, and a local housewife of Pakistani descent whose husband was a Covid-19 patient.

Chuang said the local woman told health authorities she had no recent contact with her husband, and officials would try to determine the source of her infection.

Hong Kong recorded zero local cases on Friday, with the last such instance being on October 31. The new figures took the total number of confirmed cases in the city to 5,364, with 107 related deaths.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection also announced 26 pupils aged between two and four in a kindergarten in Tung Chung had exhibited symptoms of fever, cough, runny nose, and sore throat.

The incident is the 16th flu outbreak in the city since last week, all of them in kindergartens, primary schools and child care centres. A total of 182 people have been infected in that time.

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