'Residents who fled Sha Tin estate could pose risk' - RTHK
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'Residents who fled Sha Tin estate could pose risk'

2020-06-05 HKT 11:00
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  • Dozens of residents of Luk Chuen House were taken to quarantine centres on Thursday evening. File image: RTHK
    Dozens of residents of Luk Chuen House were taken to quarantine centres on Thursday evening. File image: RTHK
Respiratory disease expert David Hui – who advises the government on Covid-19 – said on Friday that the authorities should not have allowed residents to move out of a Sha Tin estate when virus cases were first reported there, as this has increased the risk of a community transmission.

Authorities had urged people not to flee their flats in Luk Chuen House when the first cases there emerged at the weekend, but some scared tenants were seen packing their bags and leaving the estate.

Hui told an RTHK programme on Friday that there was a risk now that the residents who moved out could spread the virus if they had been infected.

The estate cluster has now grown to 10 cases after the first infection was confirmed on Sunday, with seven of those infected residents there.

On Thursday, officials said they now suspect the sewerage system could be responsible for the growing outbreak. Dozens of people living in flats ending in the numbers 10 and 12 were sent to quarantine centres due to this.

But Hui said he did not think people had been infected through the sewage pipes, noting that patients who lived on lower floors were found to be infected before those on higher floors.

The Chinese University expert said that residents of the estate who came down with Covid-19 were more likely to have caught the virus through the use of shared facilities like the lobby, lifts, and mailboxes.