HK Covid tally hits 10,000 after 81 cases detected, as the city enters one-year into the outbreak

Local | 23 Jan 2021 5:31 pm

Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong have exceeded 10,000 on the first anniversary of the pandemic after health authorities confirmed 81 new infections today, of which one-fourth was found in the pandemic-hit Yau Tsim Mong district. 

The new cases – 45 women and 36 men aged from eight to 92 – involved 21 patients who live in Yau Ma Tei and Jordan and six residents in Sham Shui Po. 

The number of infections reported in the Yau Tsim Mong district has jumped to 183 since the beginging of this month. 

Health authorities identified the first Covid patients in the city on 23 January last year, when two tourists from Wuhan in mainland China were found to be carrying the virus.
Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre of Health Protection said health authorities expect caseloads to increase in the following days as the government has announced an unprecedented lockdown in parts of Jordan this morning. 

“The daily number of cases is likely to grow in these coming few days because of the enhanced testing in the restricted area... there is also quite significant transmission in the community.”

Among the infections were 78 local cases, with 35 unknown cases and 43 were tied to clusters including the Sheung On Elderly Home on Battery Street in Jordan where one more resident in the care home was confirmed with the virus.

Since the elderly patient is confined in bed and couldn't move around the care home, health authorities believe there's a small-scale hidden transmission in the care home, said Chuang. 

As of 1pm, 3,000 people in the "restricted area" had undergone virus tests, according to the government.

But so far, no cases had been detected from the rounds of testing in the zone now sealed off for 48 hours since this morning. 

Chuang added one of the new cases were linked to a building on Woosung Street, where sewage samples had tested positive for the virus.  

Another six buildings were listed for mandatory testing, where three were within an area in Sham Shui Po district, where a stricter threshold of a single case triggering screening were imposed. They were: 96 Yum Chau Street, 25 Un Chau Street and Cheung Hong Building on Cheung Sha Wan Road.

The rest of the buildings were Moonstar Court in Wan Chai, Yick Man Building in To Kwa Wan and Shun Fung Building in Mong Kok. 

An 83-year-old woman who had tested negative in two Covid tests was among the latest confirmed cases, she had stayed in the general ward at Baptist Hospital for a few days before being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital upon diagnosis. 

Chuang said she might have caught the virus in the community. Several frontlines in the hospital and patients at the general ward were listed as close contacts and would be tested. 

A total of 26 residents at the Kensington Plaza, where partial evacuation was evoked yesterday due to suspicions over a possible transmission in the building via the “chimney effect”, were sent to quarantine centers. 

The remaining of today's cases were three imported infections.

As of today, the city’s official tally stood at 10,010, with one probable case and 168 related deaths. 

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