'Environmental contamination at Covid-hit block' - RTHK
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'Environmental contamination at Covid-hit block'

2020-12-11 HKT 17:43
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  • 'Environmental contamination at Covid-hit block'
Wendy Wong reports
Health officials said they have found a high load of coronavirus from environmental samples collected from some flats at a Kowloon Bay housing block hit by a Covid outbreak.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said the virus was found in eight out of 22 samples they collected from drain openings and ventilation fans at kitchens and washrooms in the flats where the patients live.

Chuang said the contaminated ventilation fans showed the presence of virus droplets, and that further investigations are needed to find out whether the virus had been transmitted among units.

“Environmental contamination did happen in the units but we’re not sure about the relationship between the units. We need some expert advice from the Housing and Buildings departments to check whether there’s indeed any linkage between the units,” she said.

“We did find some positive samples from the ventilation fans so that raises the possibility of pulling some virus droplets from, for example, the toilets, or the secretions from the patients.”

Eight people who live in Block 6 of Richland Gardens have come down with the disease.

Chuang also voiced concerns about three other housing blocks in Kowloon and the New Territories that have recorded infections.

They are Lung San House in Wong Tai Sin, Tat Yi House in Kwun Tong and Kwong Chi House in Tai Po. Infections have been reported from three units in each building.

She appealed to residents of these blocks to get tested for Covid-19 as officials are trying to find out whether there is any environmental transmission.

Authorities reported 86 new coronavirus cases on Friday.

Eighty-one are locally acquired cases, of which 37 are through unknown sources.