Legco staffer's likely virus exposure triggers testing

Local | 16 Jul 2020 8:54 pm

The Legislative Council got caught up in a coronavirus scare today. The secretariat confirmed that a lawmaker’s assistant may have been exposed to the virus, RTHK reports.

The unidentified assistant works on the 8th floor of the Legco complex, and lives with a family member who has been listed as a ‘direct contact’ of a patient whose preliminary test came back positive.

Tests have been ordered for some legislators and staffers, and the council is to clean and disinfect both the 8th floor and other public areas and facilities.

The Civic Party has confirmed that the assistant in question works for one of its lawmakers.

Its leader, Alvin Yeung, said the assistant in question does not have any symptoms, nor do other people who work in the same office.

Yeung said test results should be available on Friday at the earliest, but Legco needs to put public health ahead of bills and funding requests.

He urged Legco President Andrew Leung to consider suspending all operations in the entire complex until the tests come back negative.

“Obviously when staffers walk around, when legislators walk around, there’s always a risk that anybody here working, serving here in this building, can be infected,'' Yeung said.

“So this is why we say it is safest if all operations could be temporarily suspended until the test is confirmed negative.”

New People's Party lawmaker Regina Ip said she will also get tested, as she and her staff share the same bathroom and pantry facilities as the potentially-exposed assistant.

“We have asked our staff to go home as soon as they have finished their work and we will not return to 8th floor until the Legislative Council secretariat has fully disinfected [it]”, Ip said.

Hong Kong has seen a sharp spike in coronavirus cases over the past week, with officials warning that community infections are now widespread.

A record 67 virs cases were confirmed today, most of which were transmitted locally.

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