A police officer suspectedly infected with COVID-19
The officer has no travel history in the past 14 days and was on leave on February 17 and 18. On February 18, he felt unwell and attended a Chinese medicine clinic in Western District. On the next day (February 19), the officer visited a Government family clinic and was preliminarily tested positive for the COVID-19 on February 20.
Police are highly concerned about the case and would fully co-operate with the Department of Health (DH) in tracing the pathology, by proactively providing information such as the duty record of the officer over the past 14 days.
Acting upon DH’s professional advice, since the officer concerned started to develop symptoms on February 18, Police are actively tracing records of the officer’s work and daily activities over the past 14 days (from February 4 to February 18). The tracing will also cover locations frequented by the officer, to see if he had any contact with members of the public or participated in any private gathering etc.
According to Police’s initial records, the officer mainly carried out his duties in Chai Wan, North Point and Aberdeen between February 4 and February 16.
Meanwhile, in the evening of February 18, the officer attended a banquet with 59 Police officers in a restaurant in Western District. According to DH’s professional advice, the 59 officers are considered as close contacts and need to undergo quarantine.
Among these 59 close contacts, 36 of them were on duty in the Aberdeen Division in the evening of February 20. Upon learning of the incident, Police immediately suspended all the colleagues concerned from duty, in order to limit their contact with the public and allow them to wait for their quarantine arrangement at home.
The other 23 officers who attended the banquet are attached to Commercial Crime Bureau and different districts on the Hong Kong Island. Police have contacted all concerned officers and asked them to avoid making contact with the public and stay at home to wait for quarantine arrangement. Police and DH are actively looking into the work of close contacts, including whether they have contact with the public.
According to the professional advice of DH, anti-riot officers who stationed in Eastern District with the officer are not classified as persons in close contact at this stage. In the interest of public health, however, Police have immediately arranged concerned officers to stay at home for quarantine and avoid contact with members of the public.
According to the assessment of DH, citizens who came into contact with the officer concerned are not classified as persons in close contact.
Following DH’s professional advice, Police will:
- Fully co-operate with DH in providing assistance in carrying out quarantine measures for the 59 officers;
- Conduct further investigation into the work of the confirmed officer over the past 14 days;
- Sterilise all Police facilities, vehicles and quarters concerned by using 1:49 diluted bleach to clean public places and 75% alcohol to clean lifts and metallic surface;
- Ensure frontline officers are given respective protective gear, and remind them to pay attention to personal hygiene when coming in touch with members of the public to lower the risk of disease transmission.
- Remind officers to pay attention to physical health. If feeling unwell, they need to consult a doctor and report the case
- Assist in the medical and welfare matters of the confirmed officer; and
- Deploy resources flexibly to ensure provision of emergency services of the relevant districts remain unaffected
Ends/Friday, February 21, 2020
Issued at HKT 19:19
Issued at HKT 19:19