Virus 'might have spread at Kwai Chung warehouse' - RTHK
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Virus 'might have spread at Kwai Chung warehouse'

2020-05-31 HKT 17:00
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  • Virus 'might have spread at Kwai Chung warehouse'
Hong Kong on Sunday reported its first locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases in more than two weeks, raising fresh concerns about the spread of the virus in the community.

Health authorities are investigating if a warehouse where one of the patients works represents a new cluster of infections.

The latest patients are a 56-year-old man and his 34-year-old wife.

They live in a flat in Lek Yuen Estate in Sha Tin.

Health authorities say the woman was in critical condition. She's now in intensive care at Prince of Wales Hospital.

She began feeling unwell more than a week ago and visited a private doctor several times. She was admitted to hospital on Saturday.

The woman is a night-shift worker at a Kerry Logistics warehouse in Kwai Chung, labelling food items from the United Kingdom. Two of her co-workers there were found to have fallen ill a month ago. The Centre for Health Protection says they have now tested weak-positive for Covid-19 and are being treated at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the centre said she suspects the virus might have spread at the warehouse, but say they're trying to find out the exact cause of transmission.

"The two colleagues have onset symptoms a bit earlier than her – it's at the end of April – so it's likely that there's transmission in the workplace, that she acquired the disease," Dr Chuang said. "But the exact route of transmission is still under investigation."

About 25 other night-shift staff there are being monitored and will be quarantined for 14 days.

Authorities are also monitoring a number of shops and markets that the woman visited recently.

The Hospital Authority says three medical staff at the A & E unit at Prince of Wales Hospital are also being quarantined for 14 days, because they were not wearing full protective gear while handling the patient on Saturday.

One nurse was only wearing a surgical mask.

A Chief Manager of the authority, Dr Sara Ho, said nine other staff did have full protective gear.

Health authorities have also urged private doctors to handle patients with respiratory symptoms carefully. Officials say doctors should conduct Covid-19 testing on them even though they don't have a travel history, because of the possibility of "silent transmission" of the virus.
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Last updated: 2020-05-31 HKT 20:28