2nd June 2020 – (Hong Kong) Dr.Chuang Shuk-kwan from Centre for Health Protection announced today that there are 6 new COVID-19 cases today and 4 of them are linked to the cluster at Luk Chuen House, Lek Yuen Estate, Sha Tin. The other two cases involved returnees from Pakistan involving a 15-year-old teenage boy and a 42-year-old woman. The government has acknowledged recently that there is evidence of community outbreak.
Four more people were diagnosed with COVID-19 in Luk Chuen House, Lek Yuen Estate in Sha Tin yesterday evening. The newly reported cases announced today involve five females and one male aged between 15 and 78. Among them, four reside in Luk Chuen House, Lek Yuen Estate, Sha Tin, and one had a travel history during the incubation period. All four do not know each other and they do not stay on the same floor. The CHP’s epidemiological investigations and relevant contact tracing on the confirmed cases are ongoing. Case 1093 is a 15-year-old teenage boy who visited Pakistan in May and returned to Hong Kong on 16th May via Qatar Airways Flight no. QR818. His mother, sister and grandmother tested positive earlier. Case 1094 is a 43-year-old patient who visited her mother in Pakistan. Her mother tested positive too.
Together with the previously diagnosed cases No. 1084 and No. 1085, that is, the 34-year-old female patient who works at Kerry Logistics warehouse and her 56-year-old husband, 6 people have been diagnosed in this building.
Given the emergence of confirmed cases residing in Luk Chuen House in the past few days, the Government expert group inspected the building last night to follow up on the matter.
According to the initial inspection findings by members of the Government expert group, including members from the CHP; Under Secretary for the Environment, Mr Tse Chin-wan; and Chair of Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, the emergence of the cases were not due to pipe issues of the units concerned. Hence, no evacuation of the residents of the block is required. Separately, the CHP took eight environmental samples from the washrooms of the units of the additional confirmed cases as a precautionary measure and all were negative. The members also considered that the touching of common facilities, such as letterbox, lift and entrance gate may have caused the transmission or cross infection. The CHP strongly urges the public, especially the residents concerned, to maintain at all times strict personal and environmental hygiene.
As at noon today, one COVID-19 confirmed patient (case number: 1042) was discharged from hospital in the past 24 hours. So far, a total of 1,038 patients with confirmed or probable infections have been discharged.
At present, there are 651 negative pressure rooms in public hospitals with 1,211 negative pressure beds activated. A total of 50 confirmed patients are currently hospitalised in nine hospitals, among which two patients are in critical condition (case numbers: 595 and 1084), and the remaining 48 patients are in stable condition.
Dr. Sophia Chan, the incumbent Secretary for Food and Health Bureau reiterated that according to World Health Organisation (WHO), the epidemic will not go away so soon and the government will continue to work hard to bring any community outbreak under control using the ‘suppress and lift’ strategy. The government will extend coronavirus prevention measures for 14 days from 5th June until 18th June, including a ban on public gatherings of more than 8 people (under Cap 599F and Cap 599G) and border restrictions amid concern over a new cluster of virus cases under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599). The government will extend the two regulations under Cap 599F and Cap 599G to 31st August.
The government will consider various factors before relaxing travel and border control measures including studying the public health risk of other countries before any decision is made.
The Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation (Cap 599C) for arriving passengers from Mainland, Macau and Taiwan will be extended for one month and the government will also extend the scope of exemption to more than 2 types of arrivals, namely cross-border school children or school services providers, as well as those who have production operations, business activities and professional services in line with Hong Kong’s economic development interests. Those who arrive in Hong Kong from the Mainland, Macau and Taiwan will have their 14-day quarantine measures extended to 7th July, while those from other overseas regions will have their 14-day quarantine measures extended to 18th September. Hong Kong and Macau residents who travel to and from Guangdong Province and other regions will be given exemptions in stages.