Health authorities have warned of a possible coronavirus outbreak at Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital as the city reported 92 new cases on Friday, the highest daily figure in this fourth wave of infections.
A 77-year-old woman who had stayed at the private hospital in Happy Valley since August and developed a fever on Wednesday tested positive for the virus the following day. She has since passed away.
Two medical workers also tested preliminary positive for the virus. One of them was involved in the resuscitation of the patient.
Thirteen patients who stayed in the same ward and more than 30 staff will be put under quarantine.
Since the elderly patient had not left the hospital since August, officials are investigating whether she was infected by hospital staff or relatives who had visited her.
Meanwhile, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said the overall coronavirus situation is worsening. She said it might take one to two weeks to see if the latest social distancing measures could flatten the curve.
“The number today is the highest since early November. We’re of course worried about the trend. You can imagine if one patient infected two relatives, the number will double. If they go out for some social activities, for example, if they have meals with 10 friends during the communicable period, one patient may infect 10 other people. So the number can be escalating very fast,” she said.
There are 72 cases linked to previous infections, including 58 that are linked to dance venues around the city.
So far, 367 patients are linked to the dance cluster.
Officials are unable to trace the source of infection for 17 people, including a student at a secondary school in Mong Kok. Teachers and students at the school are to be tested for Covid-19.
About 60 others have tested preliminary positive for the virus, including a nurse at Princess Margaret Hospital.
There are three imported cases involving people who flew in from Nepal, Russia and Brazil.
The latest cases take Hong Kong's Covid-19 tally to 6,039.