Expert sounds alarm over latest Covid-19 case in HK - RTHK
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Expert sounds alarm over latest Covid-19 case in HK

2020-06-13 HKT 19:12
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  • Expert sounds alarm over latest Covid-19 case in HK
Hong Kong University microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung said on Saturday that he is worried about the city's latest confirmed coronavirus case, being as it took a sample from the patient's lungs to be collected before the infection could be confirmed.

The patient, a 33-year-old man, is the ninth resident of Luk Chuen House at Lek Yuen Estate in Sha Tin to be diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past two weeks. He is the next door neighbour of the woman who was the first person in the cluster confirmed to be infected.

The man has been in hospital since June 4 after going in with a fever. He was later also found to have pneumonia.

But tests on nasopharyngeal and throat swabs, a deep throat saliva sample and a stool specimen all came back negative for the virus.

It was only after doctors tested a sample from his lungs – taken during a bronchoscopy more than a week later – that they could confirm he did indeed have Covid-19.

Yuen said that what is worrying about this case is that usually if people are infected through droplets, tests on their nasal or deep throat saliva samples would come back positive.

He said this could suggest that the man caught Covid-19 through even tinier particles.

"There is something happening in Luk Chuen House, that particles of such a small size infected his lungs but didn't affect his upper respiratory system," Yuen said.

"As there is such a patient now, there might be airborne transmission here.
How could it be transmitted by air? We still haven’t found the cause yet."

The man's coronavirus infection, confirmed on Saturday, brought Hong Kong's total to date to 1,109.