Hong Kong recorded six new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, as residents who feared they may have been exposed to the coronavirus queued up to be tested at a temporary facility.
The new cases all came from traceable sources, officials said, and involved three locally transmitted infections and three imported from India.
There were also several preliminary positive cases.
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The latest figures took the number of confirmed infections to 5,175, with 105 related deaths.
Among the local cases was a 29-year-old man who had visited Tsim Sha Tsui bars China Secret and Virgo on September 23 and October 1 respectively. Another 29-year-old man, previously confirmed as being infected, visited the two bars on the same nights.
In all, 12 cases have been linked to China Secret, and to Holly Mansion, in Tsim Sha Tsui, where a 36-year-old Thai woman who also visited the bar on September 23 was staying.
A 55-year-old male resident of a care home for the disabled, Home of Treasure in Kwai Chung, was also confirmed as being infected, making him the 13th case linked to that facility. The other local infection involved a 41-year-old woman in Tung Chung who was linked to a previous case.
About 20 people were waiting outside the new temporary testing site at the Harbour Road Sports Centre in Wan Chai just before it opened at 10am. Workers separated the queue into two, one for helpers and one for others.
A middle-aged man named Shek said he wanted to get tested because on October 1 he had eaten at Sabatini restaurant in The Royal Garden, a five-star hotel which closed temporarily on Friday after four employees were found to be infected.
“[The government] did not respond quickly at all,” he said. “So many people have died and the coronavirus has caused many people to be economically and emotionally stressed.”
Shek said he was getting tested voluntarily as neither the hotel nor health authorities had deemed him to be a close contact of an infected person.
A man named Pang waiting for a test said he had learned there had been a case at the gym he used two to three times a week.
“I go to the same gym on the same day as the old man so I took the test just to play it safe,” he said, referring to a 65-year-old user of Fitness First in Wan Chai’s Hopewell Centre who was confirmed as infected on Thursday.
Pang said it was his second screening for the coronavirus, after he took part in the voluntary mass-testing programme last month. “I’m not that worried about data privacy issues. It’s more important that the test results are accurate,” he said.
Filipino domestic worker Luzviminda Concepcion, 44, said her recruitment agency told her to get a test before she started working for her new employer in the next few weeks.
“It’s now required by the recruitment agency to do a test before starting work with the new employer, which I think is a good prevention measure,” she said.
Indonesian Ngatinah, 46, said her elderly employer advised her to get tested. She said she had stayed in a boarding house for domestic workers last month while looking for a new job.
“I’ll also avoid gathering in large crowds at the weekend and stay at home in North Point to minimise the risk of getting infected,” she said.
The Home Affairs Department and charity Lok Sin Tong also started distributing specimen bottles to the Thai community in Kowloon City, after at least five Thai women, including one suspected of working illegally at China Secret, tested positive for Covid-19.
Another temporary facility will open on Sunday at Shek Lei Community Hall in Kwai Chung.
The two testing sites will operate until Wednesday, while centres in Kowloon City and Tsim Sha Tsui are set to open soon.
Those who wish to be tested can register with their identity card and phone numbers at the temporary centre, and a text message will be sent if the result is negative.
To stem an outbreak in bars, the government, along with private laboratory Prenetics, set up a mobile testing centre in the Lan Kwai Fong nightlife hub on Friday, encouraging workers and patrons to get tested.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Eight new coronavirus cases reported in Hong Kong amid growing clusters of infections, five-star hotel closes
- Hong Kong company hands out free coronavirus test kits to bar-goers as fears over nightlife-related infections mount