Hong Kong health authorities have revealed that the third patient who came down with the new Wuhan coronavirus was not sent to a special room straight away when she visited Tuen Mun Hospital to seek treatment on Wednesday.
Officials told a press conference that when the Wuhan woman visited the accident and emergency department, the only two rooms equipped with a negative pressure system there were already occupied.
The 62-year-old woman stayed in an ordinary room instead for three to four hours.
The system helps reduce the chance of passing on an airborne infectious disease to the rest of the ward.
A Hospital Authority director in charge of quality and safety Dr Chung Kin-lai apologised to the public for its handling of the case, but added the room in question is located near an area where people wait for X-ray scans, rather than facing the lobby, where more people are usually gathered.
He said risk assessments were underway to determine the impact on other patients, and on medical workers.
The head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, meanwhile, warned of the increasing trend for confirmed cases in the city, after the number rose to five.
She said there are challenges in detecting cases early because the symptoms of the disease are not obvious in its early stages.
HA apologises for delay in isolating virus patient
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