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Elderly home resident sparks virus outbreak worry

2020-03-02 HKT 19:02
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  • Elderly home resident sparks virus outbreak worry
The number of coronoavirus figures in the city edged towards the three-figure mark on Monday, as officials revealed that they are checking the samples of a 88-year-old man living in an elderly care home to confirm if he has caught the bug.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said although the man has been tested "weak positive", more tests are needed to confirm whether he is indeed infected.

Experts had warned that care homes for elderly could become potential clusters for the virus in an ageing society like Hong Kong.

Chuang said they will wait for the final results before taking any action. "If it is positive, we will be very worried," she said.

"I understand the elderly home has had a limited visiting policy since February 18. So we will trace if there are any care takers, visitors or other people that may get infections from the elderly home."

The home in Shau Kei Wan has since put up a notice saying no visitors will be allowed in.

The official tally of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Hong Kong stood at 98 by Monday evening, but two cases are waiting final confirmation and are already marked as potential cases.

Chuang said she hopes that the public will continue to maintain personal and environmental hygiene as well as social distancing, to slow down the speed of transmission.

At the regular press briefing on the virus situation, a chief manager at the Hospital Authority, Dr Linda Yu, said the authority has been cancelling or postponing some non-emergency services for Hong Kong residents who come from the mainland, if they cannot complete 14-day quarantine before their appointment time.

But if some cases are urgent and the patient cannot finish the required quarantine period, the authority would conduct a risk assessment and allow the patient to stay in a part of the ward far away from other patients, as long as the person concerned shows no symptoms of Covid-19.