CHP confirms 59 COVID-19 cases today, cluster outbreak involving 7 workers occurs at Central Tunnel of Central Kowloon Route (Updated: 5pm)

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9th January 2021 – (Hong Kong) Dr.Chuang Shuk-kwan from Centre for Health Protection (CHP) announced that there were 59 new COVID-19 cases (as of 12am today) consisting of 6 imported cases and 53 local cases. The local cases include 33 cases epidemiologically linked with previous cases and 20 local cases with unknown sources. Total cases in Hong Kong have reached 9,212. The new patients comprise 26 men and 33 women aged between 3 months old and 80 years old. When asked about the rebound in the cases, she pointed out that there were more than 20 cases of unknown sources today, which may be the result of a long holiday and the invisible transmission chain has persisted in the community.

The 6 imported cases include 3 passengers from Pakistan, 1 arrival from Russia, 1 arrival from the Philippines and one arrival from Indonesia.

6 workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at the construction site of the Central Tunnel of the Central Kowloon Route at Ma Tau Kok. All persons who have been present at the construction site between 3rd and 9th January need to undergo compulsory testing. The Transport Department announced earlier that a worker of a contractor tested positive yesterday. A total of 7 workers have been tested positive so far.

Residents of 2 apartment buildings with 2 cases in 2 different units need to under compulsory testing. 2 cases occurred at 1 unit while 3 cases were found in another unit on different floors at Sun Yuen Long Centre Block 3 at Yoho Mall II.

There were two cases recorded in one unit and one case recorded in another unit on different floors at King Lai House, Shan King Estate in Tuen Mun. Both units face the same directions on different floors.

Meanwhile,  Dr.Linda Yu from Hospital Authority (HA) announced that as of 9am today, existing 592 confirmed patients are being treated in 23 hospitals of the Hospital Authority and community facility at AsiaWorld Expo. Among them, 39 patients are in critical condition, 44 are in serious condition and the remaining 509 patients are in stable condition.

As at 9am today, 65 COVID-19 confirmed patients were discharged from hospital in the last 24 hours. So far, a total of 8,373 patients with confirmed infection and 1 probable case has been discharged.  

At present, there are 688 negative pressure rooms in public hospitals with 1,253 negative pressure beds activated.

2 patients have passed away in the last 24 hours. A 71-year-old male patient (Case No. 8069) with chronic diseases was admitted to CMC due to hyperglycaemia and fall on 17th December, 2020, and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. His condition continued to deteriorate and he was transferred to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on 25th December, 2020 and eventually succumbed at 2.45am this morning. Including the above patient, 153 COVID-19 patients have passed away in public hospitals so far.

A 47-year-old male patient at Kwong Wah Hospital preliminarily tested positive after being admitted on 8th January for headache. One other patient has been listed as close contact. The other 5 patients have been listed as other contacts and put under medical observation. 10 other employees who were in contact with the patient will be tested.

A 61-year-old female patient who initially tested negative for COVID-19 at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital was tested again after admission and she was subsequently diagnosed. 5 out of 6 patients who were in the same ward tested negative. 1 discharged patient needs to be tested.

Wang Tau Hom Jockey Club General Out-patient Clinic (WTH GOPC) collected deep throat saliva specimen for testing of COVID-19 from five patients on 7th January, which were scheduled to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital laboratory for testing together with specimens from Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital. When the collection box was returned back to WTH GOPC on 8th January, clinic staff found that the five deep throat saliva specimens were still kept in the box.

 Since all the deep throat saliva specimens were no longer suitable for conducting testing, staff had contacted the patients concerned to explain the incident, offer apologies and arrange the return of deep throat saliva specimen sample to the clinic as soon as possible. The five patients concerned have returned the samples this morning of and all test results were negative for COVID-19.

 Kowloon Central Cluster is highly concerned about the incident and apologises to the patients concerned for the inconvenience caused. Concerned units have immediately reminded staff to be vigilant and pay more attention to the items transferred.  The workflow of handling specimens will be reviewed and improvement measures will be recommended to prevent similar incidents.

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