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Hunt for infection source must continue, says expert

2020-06-01 HKT 11:44
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  • An expert says imported products contaminated with coronavirus could be behind new Covid-19 infections in Hong Kong. File photo: RTHK
    An expert says imported products contaminated with coronavirus could be behind new Covid-19 infections in Hong Kong. File photo: RTHK
An infectious disease expert on Monday urged the government to keep working on tracking down the source of infection for the latest people to catch coronavirus in Hong Kong, so that targeted measures can be implemented to prevent silent transmission of the virus in the community.

A 34-year-old woman is critically ill with Covid-19 and her husband has also been infected, while two of the woman's colleagues have tested weak positive for the virus.

Speaking on RTHK, Ho Pak-leung who heads the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Infection, said it is the second time in a month that residents with no travel history have come down with Covid-19 with unknown sources of infection.

Health authorities tested thousands of residents in Tsuen Wan after several members of a family who live in the area were diagnosed with Covid-19 in the middle of May, but it is still not known how they got infected.

“The problem of having these cluster outbreaks with unknown sources of infection is that it’s difficult for authorities to implement targeted measures to prevent similar incidents,” he said.

Ho said authorities should find out where the loopholes are.

“We should think if it’s originated from people who returned from overseas and put under home quarantine, or discharged patients who tested positive for the virus again,” he said.

The new female Covid-19 patient is a night-shift worker at a Kerry Logistics warehouse in Kwai Chung and labels food items from the United Kingdom.

Ho said the coronavirus could have remained on imported products, especially if they were kept in low temperatures during transportation. He reminded staff working in the industry to be vigilant about personal and environmental hygiene.