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New cases dip again, but officials urge vigilance

2020-04-09 HKT 18:07
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  • New cases dip again, but officials urge vigilance
Hong Kong has recorded a relatively small number of new coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day, but the Centre for Health Protection says it is still too early to say that the number of new infections is on a downward trend.

Officials said 13 new cases had been added on Thursday, bringing the total number recorded in the SAR since the outbreak began to 973.

The city had seen a sudden surge last week, with dozens of new cases per day, after more people returned from countries that have been hard hit by the virus pandemic. But the last few days have seen smaller numbers of new patients.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said it is difficult to judge if the worst is over.

"The number seems to be lower today but it's very difficult to conclude at this moment because of the long incubation period of the disease. We still need to observe the overseas situation and monitor the number of cases," she said.

The centre said 10 of the new patients were people who had recently returned from overseas.

Among those infected locally, one is a 38-year-old man who visited a bar in Wan Chai hit by a wave of infections.

Another is a 37-year-old man who is the father of the youngest victim in Hong Kong, a 40-day-old baby who came down with disease last week. It is believed that a family friend who later tested positive for the virus had close contact with the baby.

Officials said they can’t find the source of infection for just one of the new patients, a 43-year-old IT worker who lives in Sheung Wan.

The man developed fever on April 4, but had been going to work as normal at Lee Gardens up until the previous day.

Officials said apart from work, eating at a fast food restaurant, and going jogging, the man had mainly stayed at home.

Chuang reminded people to avoid crowds even though some restaurants have resumed dine-in services.

"The general public should observe the social distancing measures as far as possible, even when they go to fast-food shops. They should try to get takeaway ... if they sit down, try to avoid close contact with each other," she said.

She also revealed that a 57-year-old cleaner who worked at two government clinics and confirmed to be infected with Covid-19, also worked evening shifts at Pizza Hut. The company has shut a branch in Fanling temporarily.

More than 660 patients infected with the coronavirus are currently in public hospitals and 14 of them are in a critical condition.