Chauffeur of Covid-19 patient latest confirmed HK infection case

March 10, 2020 12:09
Hong Kong’s latest novel coronavirus patient is under treatment at the Ruttonjee Hospital and is said to be in stable condition. Photo: Google Maps/ screenshot

One more person tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city to 115, with one probable case.

The newly added case involved a 44-year-old man (the 116th case) who works as a chauffeur for a 56-year-old male who had been diagnosed on March 6 (106th case) with the infection, the health department's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said.

According to the CHP, the patient normally lived at his employer's home in Mid-levels but moved to Kennedy Town on his own on March 5.

A day after he was sent to the quarantine center as a close contact on March 6, he began to develop a cough and have a fever before his respiratory specimen tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

He is now under treatment at the Ruttonjee Hospital and is in stable condition.

Meanwhile, the CHP revealed that the 69th confirmed patient, who is a 48-year-old police officer, was discharged from hospital on Sunday.

So far, a total of 60 confirmed patients have recovered and have been discharged, although the death toll has also risen to 3, including a 76-year-old woman (the 99th case) who passed away on Sunday afternoon.

Talking about the woman's death at a press conference on Monday, Dr Lau Ka-hin, the Hospital Authority's Chief Manager (Quality and Standards), said the patient had been given three kinds of anti-virus drugs for treatment, but her lung function began to deteriorate from the early morning on March 3 and her heartbeat slowed down on Sunday before she passed away.

Lau added that all of the three dead Covid-19 patients had suffered from diabetes and two of them were elderly people. The official noted that a World Health Organization's report in February had pointed out that the fatality rate of Covid-19 is higher for people who are aged and have chronic diseases.

In related news, the CHP decided to expand the Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance Programme to all private clinics and hospitals from Monday.

Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the CHP's Communicable Disease Branch, told media that since the haeath department's lab is capable of testing more than 1,000 samples every day, it is expected to meet the needs of private doctors.

Chuang admitted that there is currently no estimated number as to how many private doctors and how many patients will participate, but said that the test result of a sample will come back on the same day or the next day after it is received by the lab.

The lab will not charge any fees but private clinics can decide for themselves on the matter, she said.

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