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Nine new local cases spark warning of a new wave

2020-07-07 HKT 17:23
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  • Nine new local cases spark warning of a new wave
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) on Tuesday reported that nine local coronavirus infections have been registered in Hong Kong, with officials saying a new wave of Covid-19 cases is underway in the city.

This is in addition to five imported cases, including three people who travelled from the Philippines and two who arrived from Pakistan.

Officials said at a press conference that the situation in Hong Kong has changed rapidly since last week and a “community outbreak” has happened again, involving customers and workers of a number of restaurants and an elderly person living at a care home.

Authorities said sources of five new cases have not been identified, including a Hospital Authority worker who had visited Disneyland and stayed in the resort there.

A 85-year-old woman who lives in an elderly care home in Tsz Wan Shan is also among the new cases. Officials said health personnel have visited the centre and found that many close contacts who needed to be moved to a quarantine centre.

Preliminary results showed two other residents at the care home also tested positive for the virus.

As a 14-year-old student of the Rotary Secondary School in Wong Tai Sin has tested positive, the school has been asked to shut for two weeks and undertake cleansing operations, said the CHP's Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan.

She added that any other schools should do the same if they have confirmed cases. Asked if all schools could have to shut down again, Chuang said authorities are discussing a basket of measures and will announce the decision as soon as possible.

Controller of the Centre for Health Protection, Dr Wong Ka-hing, said a drop in cases last month did not mean the transmission chain was broken completely.

He said the government will have to tighten social distancing restrictions again and he hoped officials will announce them soon.

Health officials said screening of arrivals will be tightened from Wednesday and all air crew arriving in Hong Kong will have to give saliva samples for virus tests.

The latest cases take the total number of confirmed infections in Hong Kong to 1,299.

Separately, the Secretary for Food and Health, Sophia Chan on Tuesday said foreign domestic helpers will need to test negative for Covid-19 before they're allowed to enter Hong Kong, although she didn't mention when this requirement would come into force.

And she said their employers will have to pay for their tests, and 14 days of quarantine at a hotel when they arrive.

Last updated: 2020-07-07 HKT 22:28