Two temple-goers among newly confirmed seven HK Covid-19 cases

February 25, 2020 11:34
Fook Wai Ching She Buddhist temple in North Point is at center of the latest novel coronavirus scare in HK, with two more women who had visited the facility testing positive for the infection. Photo HKEJ.

Hong Kong's health authorities said on Monday that seven more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), taking the total number of confirmed cases in the city to 81.

Among the newly-added cases were of two women who had visited the Fook Wai Ching She, a Buddhist temple in a building on Shu Kuk Street in North Point, according to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) under the Department of Health.

At a press conference, Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the CHP's Communicable Disease Branch, said one of the two is a 57-year-old housewife (76th case) who developed sore throat since Feb. 8 and fever on Feb. 10.

She sought medical advice at the outpatient department of the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital (HKSH) for the second time on Sunday before she was referred and admitted to the Ruttonjee Hospital, where her respiratory sample tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

The patient, who is now in stable condition, had travelled to Osaka, Japan between Jan. 26 and 30 during the incubation period and returned to Hong Kong on Jan. 31, according to the CHP.

Her husband, two sons and a maid who live with her are all asymptomatic and will be arranged for quarantine.

In response to media enquiries, the HKSH said more than 40 of its staff members who had contact with the woman are under medical surveillance, adding that none of them has reported physical discomfort so far.

The other woman (77th case), 68, had developed cough since Feb.19. She was arranged by a private doctor to be taken to the Queen Mary Hospital on Sunday. Her respiratory sample tested positive the next day for Covid-19 and she is now in stable condition.

The patient had no travel history during the incubation period. Her husband and domestic helper who live with her are asymptomatic and will be arranged for quarantine.

The CHP's epidemiological investigations revealed that the two women, together with four patients (65th, 70th, 73rd and 74th cases) confirmed earlier, had visited the North Point temple in January or February.

As such, those who also had visited the temple during the above period and developed relevant symptoms later are urged to contact the CHP.

Chuang revealed that 130 people who had been to the temple have called the CHP hotline in the past few days. Seven of them have been admitted to hospitals as they were not feeling well.

Four other new infection cases (78th to 81st) involved passengers who were placed in quarantine in Chun Yeung Estate in Fo Tan after they returned to Hong Kong from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, on a chartered flight on Saturday.

The four, comprising three women aged 57 to 59 and a male patient aged 57, are all in stable condition at the Queen Mary Hospital where they were admitted for treatment, the CHP said.

The seventh confirmed patient (75th case) involved a 35-year-old man whose deep throat saliva specimen tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday and was admitted to the Tuen Mun Hospital. After being confirmed on Monday to have contracted the virus, he is now in stable condition.

The patient had driven to his home in Shenzhen across the border between Feb. 3 and 7, according to the CHP.

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TL/BN/RC