Five new cases bring confirmed Covid-19 infections in HK to 120

March 11, 2020 13:06
The Centre for Health Protection said three of the five new patients were members of a Hong Kong tour group that travelled to Egypt from Feb. 27 to March 7. Photo: HKEJ

Five more people tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the city to 120.

Three of the five patients were members of a Hong Kong tour group that travelled to Egypt from Feb. 27 to March 7, including a 59-year-old man (the 119th case) who works with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD), the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) under the Department of Health said.

The man, who lives at Heng Tai House of Fu Heng Estate in Tai Po, developed coughing on March 7 and fever the following day. His saliva sample tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.

He is now in stable condition at the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital, a government press release said. 

His wife, who also joined the tour, was admitted to the same hospital after developing symptoms, while his son, who is asymptomatic, will be arranged for quarantine.

Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the CHP’s Communicable Disease Branch, told a news conference on Tuesday afternoon that the man probably contracted Covid-19 in Egypt.

Later on Tuesday, the CHP said another couple who joined the tour also tested positive for Covid-19.

The 59-year-old man (120th), who has an underlying illness, lives with his wife, also 59, at On Hei House of Siu Hei Court in Tuen Mun. He developed a runny nose on March 7 and fever the following day. His wife, with good past health, also developed a fever on March 7.

They are both under treatment at Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) and are in a stable condition, the government press release said.

Jonny So, general manager of Sunflower Travel Service, said the tour group that it arranged had eight members.

So said the tour guide did not feel unwell or show any symptom after returning to Hong Kong. Other employees who had had contact with the tour group have been asked to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days.

The FEHD, where patient 119 works, said the man last reported for work in the morning of Feb. 26 and had not returned to the office or to the Tai Po Hui Market since. Disinfection has been arranged to be conducted in both places.

The three patients took Turkish Airlines flight TK695 from Cairo to Istanbul on March 6 and departed Istanbul on Turkish Airlines flight TK70, arriving in Hong Kong on March 7, the CHP said.

Passengers who travelled in the economy cabin of the two flights taken by the patients are urged to call the CHP hotline.

As for the other two newly confirmed cases, they were both household contacts of a patient confirmed in Canada earlier. The patient was a member of the same tour group that went to India last month. The group included patients 105, 107, 110, 111 and 115.

The two new cases are a 52-year-old woman (117) who is the daughter of the confirmed case in Canada, and a 48-year-old domestic helper (118) who lives with her.

They are now in stable condition at Queen Mary Hospital.

In Tuesday's news briefing, Chuang said a 31-year-old woman, who was a passenger of the virus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, had been a confirmed patient before she was discharged after treatment in Japan and returned to Hong Kong on March 7.

Although she remained asymptomatic, her respiratory specimen collected during a consultation for her underlying illness at Queen Mary Hospital on March 9 tested positive for Covid-19 again, Chuang said.

She called the case of the woman, who has kidney disease, an exceptional one, adding that a positive result does not necessarily mean she is a carrier of the virus.

Dr. Lau Ka-hin, the Hospital Authority’s chief manager for quality and standards, said 22 former Covid-19 patients who had been discharged from hospitals underwent follow-up consultations and none of them needed to be placed under quarantine again.

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