22nd March 2020 – (Hong Kong) Dr Chuang Tsuk-Kwan from Centre for Health Protection confirmed today that there were 44 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases to 318, breaking the 300-mark of whom 29 had travelled abroad, 7 were foreign students, and the remaining 15 had no travel history. Several patients had visited LKF, 1 person went to a private party during the incubation period, 4 others attended the same international school and they played tennis without wearing masks, and the son of the taxi driver who was diagnosed earlier also tested positive. In addition, one of the male patients who was initially diagnosed today was the father of a nurse at Yan Chai Hospital. He went to Turkey recently. The male nurse still went to work yesterday (21st) and had no symptoms. Only one presumptive case was repored.
Dr.Chuang added that the 4 attended Mount Kelly International School on Austin Road in TST. The school had two teachers who brought seven students to Switzerland in an exchange programme before being tested positive. Two other teaching staff from the said school also tested positive subsequently. The wife of one of the teachers and a friend who had a meal together on 9th March have also been tested positive. The Centre for Protection is tracking the health status of the students who went to Switzerland.
She pointed out that there was also a confirmed case who went skiing in Switzerland. In addition, two workers at the Cheung Lung Industrial Building in Cheung Sha Wan also tested positive. The groom at the Auberge Discovery Bay Hotel wedding banquet and a related 22-month-old baby girl also tested positive, making it a total of 8 infected persons in this cluster.
As for the Canadian tour group, 7 people tested positive. Dr. Chuang also pointed out that in the 276th case, the patient worked in Lan Kwai Fong and is a musician. He would shuttle between several clubs during his work. A total of four patients went to Soho and LKF. Regarding the confirmed cases of Lan Kwai Fong, Dr.Chuang was asked whether she would consider closing down Lan Kwai Fong. Dr.Chuang said that the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has carried out large-scale cleaning and infection prevention measures in Lan Kwai Fong. Going to Lan Kwai Fong is not a problem but the risk is about customers drinking with each other at close distance. She also said that the confirmed patients who had been to Lan Kwai Fong did not know each other, but different people on these occasions would socialise and she does not rule out the risk of transmission between the patients.
Dr.Chuang pointed out that most of the imported cases have overseas travel history or they are overseas students returning to Hong Kong. It is difficult to estimate the number of cases in the future. It is hoped that compulsory quarantine will reduce the number of close contacts of confirmed patients and reduce the risk of transmission. She also pointed out that in the analysis of cases, it was true that there were many confirmed cases of those returning to H.K. from the United Kingdom, and the risk was high. However, it may also be due to the large number of people returning to the UK, which resulted in a higher number of confirmed diagnoses.
As at noon today, public hospitals had reported to the Department of Health the admission of 265 patients (130 male and 135 female, aged 13 months to 83 years) in the past 24 hours who met the reporting criteria of COVID-19. Appropriate tests have been arranged for the patients.
There are 523 patients under isolation currently. So far, 101 patients who had COVID-19 confirmed or probable infections have been discharged upon recovery.