Toilet waste pipe in apartment in Tsing Yi may have spread the coronavirus to different floors, over 100 residents quarantined


11th February 2020 – (Hong Kong) both a 62-year-old female patient who was infected yesterday and the twelfth confirmed patient live in Hong Mei House, Cheung Hong Estate in Tsing Yi. It is unknown whether the two cases are related but one of them might have contracted the virus from the other.

However, as one of the apartment toilets in Hong Mei House has U-traps pipes, medical experts have expressed that the toilet waste pipe in the apartment building may have spread the virus to different floors. As a precautionary measure, the government has decided to evacuate more than 100 residents living in the same apartment. Dr CHUANG Shuk-kwan from the Centre of Health Protection and other officials rushed to the apartment and inspected the two units. Police cordoned off the apartment at around 11.30pm yesterday. All the residents will be sent to a quarantine centre for medical observation.

Meanwhile, Centre for Health Protection (CHP) held a media conference after midnight today to address the situation. At present, they were not sure if the virus was transmitted via the toilet system or the ventilation system in the building. The patient might have contracted it from touching the buttons of the elevator in the apartment building too. Engineers will be sent to inspect each floor of the building to determine the source.

CHP held a media conference at midnight today to explain the situation.
Toilet in Hong Mei House with U-traps pipe.

The twelfth case in Hong Kong is a 75-year-old man living in Hong Mei House, Cheung Hong Estate, Tsing Yi. He has never been to Hubei. He had a cough and breathing difficulties on the 22nd of last month. He went to Shunde, Guangdong from 30th December to 7th January last year and went to a local clinic for treatment. He was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on the 24th January.