Mass test at immigration centre after inmate's Covid - RTHK
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Mass test at immigration centre after inmate's Covid

2020-08-19 HKT 18:36
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  • Mass test at immigration centre after inmate's Covid
Hundreds of detainees and staff at the Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre are to be tested for the coronavirus, after a man sent to the detention facility on Sunday was found to have Covid-19.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) revealed this as it reported 26 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday — all but three of them local infections.

Officials also said eight of the new cases have no known origin and about a dozen people have tested positive in preliminary screenings.

The CHP's Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said mass tests at the Castle Peak Centre was ordered after a 37-year-old Thai man was picked up for overstaying his visa and sent there.

He had come to Hong Kong from Thailand in October and police detained him after they checked his ID.

At the centre, tests were run on the new inmate and it showed he has contracted the virus.

"There are reports of outbreaks in prisons overseas, that's why there's a surveillance programme in the detention centre to test newly-admitted persons," Chuang said.

She said that three people he shared a room with and two Immigration Department staff who came into close contact with the man will be quarantined. About 200 Immigration Department staff members and some 400 people staying there will also be tested as a precaution.

But she said the chance of an outbreak at the facility was not high because he only shared a room with three other people.

Chuang also said it was likely the man caught the infection in the community.

She also said that he was not very cooperative, and the police have been enlisted to help them trace exactly where he has been in the last few days.

Among the new cases reported on Wednesday include a security guard who works at the Kwai Tsing Container Terminal, which is at the centre of one of the biggest active clusters of infections.

The three imported cases were recent arrivals from India.

Despite the drop in the number of new Covid-19 cases, Chuang warned that silent transmission of the virus was still a problem.

Meanwhile, a chief manager of the Hospital Authority, Dr Lau Ka-hin, said that two more elderly patients with Covid-19 have died, bringing the virus-linked death toll to 72.

One was a 64-year-old female, who died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the second was an 86-year-old man who was at the United Christian Hospital.