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Tai Po housing block to be checked after virus cases

2020-03-14 HKT 18:02
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  • Tai Po housing block to be checked after virus cases
  • Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan say officials will investigate how the latest case was infected by the couple who came down with Covid-19 earlier. Photo: RTHK
    Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan say officials will investigate how the latest case was infected by the couple who came down with Covid-19 earlier. Photo: RTHK
Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan
Health officials on Saturday said that they would inspect a public housing block in Tai Po, as a man came down with Covid-19, after two residents there tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.

The two earlier infections involve a couple who came back from a trip in Egypt on March 7. The husband and wife were subsequently confirmed with the infections on March 10 and 11.

The latest patient is a 59-year-old man who lives a couple of floors above at the same number – ending with 13 – of Heng Tai House at the Fu Heng Estate.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said the man didn't know the couple. She said officials would investigate how the man was infected.

“It’s possible there’re some environmental transmissions, either through … I’m not sure whether the pipes are in order or there’re other environmental factors that may explain… or they may just go past because they live in the same building. They may just go together in some lifts,” she said.

In a dramatic move last month, officials had removed 100 occupants of flats with same numbers across more than thirty floors at a Tsing Yi public housing estate after virus infections were reported on different floors.

The residents were sent to a quarantine centre as officials suspected the contamination spread through toilet pipes of the building. They were allowed back in after the flats were disinfected and fixed pipes which were found faulty.

During the 2003 Sars outbreak, a faulty toilet pipe lead widespread flareup in an apartment at the Kowloon Bay estate. This eventually affected more than 300 people Amoy Gardens, ending in 42 deaths.

Meanwhile, the number of recorded cases in Hong Kong has gone up to 140 with more infections linked to travel to foreign countries. Officials said 80 of the virus affected patients have been discharged so far.

The latest cases include a 39-year-old woman who's been to Dubai and Madrid and a 28-year-old woman who travelled to London.

Preliminary test results show a 59-year-old man who's been to Morocco has also contracted the virus.