Hong Kong recorded 27 new coronavirus infections on Friday, as 130 residents and staff at two homes for the elderly faced being quarantined after a confirmed case was found at one and a resident at the other tested positive.
Friday marked the 19th day the daily tally remained under 100 cases, as the general trend of declining infections continued.
Of the new infections, 18 were locally transmitted including seven of unknown origin. Nine cases were imported – six from India, one from the United States, one from Canada and an aircrew worker from Russia.
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The Hong Kong government added Ethiopia to the list of high-risk countries, which requires air travellers flying from the African nation to produce certificates showing a negative Covid-19 test result. Five imported infections in August were from Ethiopia.
New confirmed cases were found in two homes for the elderly that were not part of previous clusters, and the source of infections was unknown.
An 81-year-old man, who lived in Fung Shing Nursing Home in Kwai Chung, was a confirmed case.
About 70 residents and 10 staff members needed to be quarantined and tested, as the man could roam the home.
An elderly resident of Hei Yuet Home for the Aged in Tai Kok Tsui tested preliminarily positive. The patient had regularly gone for kidney dialysis at Kwong Wah Hospital. The man, who had also left the home for a family meal, began to show symptoms on Thursday.
Residents and staff at the two care homes would be tested and could be sent for quarantine at AsiaWorld-Expo, Cheung Muk Tau Holiday Centre for the Elderly in Sai Kung or Pok Fu Lam isolation centre, said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP).
But she said the centre had yet to confer with the Hospital Authority and Social Welfare Department on the appropriate quarantine facility.
The latest figures came ahead of the launch of citywide Covid-19 testing next month.
“I think it’s good for the public to take the test because there are still a lot of cases with an unknown source in the community, so this signifies that there are some silent transmissions and silent carriers,” Chuang said.
“The public is encouraged to take the test whenever possible.”
The number of confirmed cases stood at 4,631, with 75 related deaths, including three on Thursday – two women, aged 72 and 92, and a man, 71.
A doctor, five nurses and a janitor who all worked at the clinic of Dr David Kan Chi-leung in To Kwa Wan would be sent for quarantine, after a drug dispenser was confirmed to be infected on Thursday.
Kan was among those who tested preliminarily positive. The CHP has started contacting the clinic’s patients and will arrange for them to be tested.
The CHP has also begun to test the 600 staff and detainees at Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre, after a Thai man who was detained there tested positive.
Chuang said the CHP had yet to complete testing for all samples from the holding facility, but those that were completed returned negative. Currently, 329 out of 350 detainees and 88 out of 160 immigration workers who were tested showed negative results.
About 6,800 out of 7,600 deep-throat saliva specimens have been collected from workers at Kwai Tsing Container Terminals, and no new cases were reported on Friday. The tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases at the logistics port stood at 71, the largest cluster in the city’s third wave of infections.
Meanwhile, an air system heating tube of a negative pressure ward with seven confirmed Covid-19 patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital malfunctioned and emitted smoke at 8pm on Thursday, Dr Lau Ka-hin, chief manager of quality and standards at the Hospital Authority, said.
Lau said the protection mechanism was activated and all medical workers at the ward were equipped with personal protective gear during the incident.
“After conducting an assessment, the risk of infection should be low,” he said.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Hong Kong enters global race to secure coronavirus vaccine, as city leader vows to join testing scheme to spur public
- Hong Kong third wave: social-distancing measures not likely to be relaxed until citywide coronavirus testing wraps up in mid-September
This article Hong Kong records 27 new coronavirus cases, as residents and staff of two care homes face quarantine first appeared on South China Morning Post