CHP investigates five additional cases of COVID-19
Two of the confirmed cases today are associated with the cluster related to the India tour group. One of the patients is a 76-year-old man (the 111th case) who is a member of the same tour group to India as the three patients of the 105th, 107th and 110th cases confirmed on March 4, 6 and 7 respectively. The patient visited India from January 31 to February 24. With long term illnesses, the patient lives in Block 31, Lower Baguio Villa, 550 Victoria Road, Southern District. He developed diarrhoea since February 23 and was identified and sent to Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) by the CHP during contact tracing on March 5. His respiratory samples were tested negative for COVID-19 virus and was transferred to Chun Yeung Estate quarantine centre. His deep throat saliva specimen was tested positive for COVID-19 virus last night (March 7) and was admitted to QMH for management. He is now in a stable condition. His wife who lives with him is quarantined and domestic helper is asymptomatic and will be quarantined.
Another patient is a 59-year-old woman (the 115th case) who joined the same tour to India from January 31 to February 24. The patient, with long term illness, lives in Block 1, La Grove, 83 Shap Pat Heung Road, Yuen Long. She was asymptomatic and sent to the quarantine centre as a close contact yesterday. Her deep throat saliva specimen was tested positive for COVID-19 virus today and was arranged to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for management. She is now in a stable condition. Her family members who live with her are all asymptomatic. Her husband is quarantined while her son, daughter and domestic helper will be arranged for quarantine.
The third case involves a 55-year-old man (the 112th case) who is the husband of the 83rd case who had visited the Buddhist temple named Fook Wai Ching She and the father of the 84th case confirmed on February 25. The patient has good past health and lives in Hong Fook Court, Bedford Gardens in North Point. He has all along been asymptomatic and earlier sent to the quarantine centre as a close contact. His respiratory specimen was tested positive for COVID-19 virus today. He is now under treatment at Tuen Mun Hospital and is in a stable condition. The patient had no recent travel history and had not visited Fook Wai Ching She. His close contacts (except the two confirmed patients), namely his daughter and mother are asymptomatic and are quarantined.
The CHP's epidemiological investigations revealed that the 112th case together with the patients of the 64th, 65th, 70th, 73rd, 74th, 76th, 77th, 83rd, 84th, 86th, 89th, 91st, 92nd, 93rd, 95th, 98th, 102nd and 103rd cases announced earlier (19 patients in total) had either visited Fook Wai Ching She in Maylun Apartments in North Point in January or February or had association with confirmed cases who had been to the temple. People who had visited the temple on January 25 onwards are again urged to call the CHP hotline and those who developed relevant symptoms will be arranged to hospitals for treatment.
The fourth case involves a 47-year-old woman (the 113th case) who is a domestic helper of the 85th case confirmed on February 25 and is a close contact of the 90th case confirmed on February 26. The patient has good past health and lives at Block 4, Swiss Towers at 113 Tai Hang Road, Tai Hang. She has all along been asymptomatic and was earlier sent to the quarantine centre as a close contact. Her respiratory specimen was tested positive for COVID-19 virus today. She is now under treatment at Prince of Wales Hospital and is in a stable condition. The patient had no travel history during the incubation period. Her close contacts (except the two confirmed patients), namely her employer’s husband and son are asymptomatic and are quarantined.
The fifth case involves a 41-year-old man (the 114th case) who has good past health and lives at Envoy Garden, 108 Blue Pool Road, Happy Valley. He developed sore throat, headache, runny nose and malaise since March 6 and attended the Accident and Emergency Department at Ruttonjee Hospital on the same day. His deep throat saliva specimen was tested positive for COVID-19 virus today. He is now under treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is in a stable condition. The patient had travel history during the incubation period. He took the flight CX542 by Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Tokyo on February 19 and then CX505 by Cathay Pacific from Tokyo for transit in Hong Kong on February 21. He travelled with three daughters taking the flight CX225 by Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Glasgow via London on February 22 and then CX250 by Cathay Pacific from Glasgow for transit in London on February 28 and arriving Hong Kong on February 29. The patient's household contacts, namely his wife, three daughters and two domestic helpers are asymptomatic and will be arranged for quarantine.
The CHP's epidemiological investigations and relevant contact tracing on the confirmed cases are ongoing. Quarantine will be arranged for close contacts while medical surveillance will be arranged for other contacts. For the progress on the contact tracing of the cases, please see annex.
A spokesman for the CHP said, "The CHP reminded members of the public that as the transmission of COVID-19 virus has been increasing around the world, they are advised to consider delaying all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong."
"Meanwhile, according to our preliminary epidemiological investigations, clusters are observed in local community involving large meal gatherings and other gatherings. Members of the public are urged to go out less and reduce social activities such as meals gatherings or other gatherings, and maintain appropriate social distance with other people as far as possible."
The spokesman said, "The CHP strongly urged the public to maintain at all times strict personal and environmental hygiene which is key to personal protection against infection and prevention of the spread of the disease in the community. On the personal level, members of the public should wear a surgical mask when having respiratory symptoms, taking public transport or staying in crowded places. They should also perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes."
"As for household environmental hygiene, members of the public are advised to maintain drainage pipes properly and regularly pour water into drain outlets (U-traps); cover all floor drain outlets when they are not in use; after using the toilet, they should put the toilet lid down before flushing to avoid spreading germs."
The CHP will report the cases to the World Health Organization, National Health Commission, Health Commission of Guangdong Province, Indian health authority and the Hospital Authority.
The CHP has set up a hotline (2125 1122) for public enquiries. The hotline operates from 8am to midnight daily. As at 4pm today, a total of 29 555 calls were received.
Moreover, the Government has launched the website "COVID-19 Thematic Website" (www.coronavirus.gov.hk) for announcing the latest updates on various news on COVID-19 infection and health advice to help the public grasp the latest updates.
To prevent pneumonia and respiratory tract infection, members of the public should always maintain good personal and environmental hygiene. They are advised to:
• Wear a surgical mask when taking public transport or staying in crowded places. It is important to wear a mask properly, including hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask;
• Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes; after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs; or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
• Maintain drainage pipes properly and regularly (about once a week) pour about half a liter of water into each drain outlet (U-traps) to ensure environmental hygiene;
• Cover all floor drain outlets when they are not in use;
• After using the toilet, put the toilet lid down before flushing to avoid spreading germs;
• Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with water and dry with a disposable paper towel. If hand washing facilities are not available, or when hands are not visibly soiled, performing hand hygiene with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub is an effective alternative;
• Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of soiled tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly; and
• When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, refrain from work or attending class at school, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly.
Members of the public are advised to consider delaying all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong. The public should take heed of the health advice below if it is unavoidable to travel outside Hong Kong:
• Do not travel to Hubei Province of Mainland where there is widespread community transmission of COVID-19 virus;
• Avoid unnecessary travel to Korea (especially Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do where the majority of the cases were reported); Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto regions in Italy which cover Bologna, Milan, Venice and Verona, as well as Iran;
• When travelling to countries/areas with active community transmission of COVID-19 virus, the public should avoid close contact with persons with fever or respiratory symptoms. If it is unavoidable to come into contact with them, put on a surgical mask and continue to do so until 14 days after returning to Hong Kong;
• Avoid visiting hospitals. If it is necessary to visit a hospital, put on a surgical mask and observe strict personal and hand hygiene;
• Avoid touching animals (including game), poultry/birds or their droppings;
• Avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms;
• Avoid making close contact with patients, especially those with symptoms of acute respiratory infections;
• Do not consume game meat and do not patronise food premises where game meat is served;
• Adhere to food safety and hygiene rules such as avoiding consuming raw or undercooked animal products, including milk, eggs and meat, or foods which may be contaminated by animal secretions, excretions (such as urine) or contaminated products, unless they have been properly cooked, washed or peeled;
• If feeling unwell when outside Hong Kong, especially if experiencing a fever or cough, wear a surgical mask, inform the hotel staff or tour escort and seek medical advice at once; and
• After returning to Hong Kong, consult a doctor promptly if experiencing a fever or other symptoms, take the initiative to inform the doctor of any recent travel history and any exposure to animals, and wear a surgical mask to help prevent spread of the disease.
Ends/Sunday, March 8, 2020
Issued at HKT 23:06
Issued at HKT 23:06