Stroke victim dies from virus infection

Top News | 26 Jun 2020

Staff reporters

A Hongkonger in his 50s who returned from the Philippines has died of Covid-19, taking the city's virus death toll to seven.

This comes as the government plans to distribute 30 million locally made surgical masks -10 for each household - next week.

The Hospital Authority said the 55-year-old man was admitted to a Philippine hospital late last month after a stroke. He was escorted back home on a medical flight on Tuesday and sent to Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung in serious condition with a high fever.

Testing positive for Covid-19, he developed severe blood infections and died at 1.30am yesterday.

He is the city's third death in six days, after a 78-year-old woman died on Saturday and a 72-year-old man died on Tuesday.

Hong Kong yesterday saw 14 imported cases - though for the 12th day there were no local infections - taking the total to 1,194.

The new cases comprised nine men and five women, aged two to 39. Among them, 12 returned from Pakistan, one from the Philippines and one from India.

At the same time, 10 mainlanders - six men and four women - were sent to quarantine centers on Wednesday night after spending five days at the airport.

They arrived on Emirates flight EK380 from Dubai on Saturday. It was the same flight where 26 returnees, mostly from Pakistan, tested positive upon arrival.

Under the current policy, passengers can only transit through the airport under the same air ticket, and all non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas by plane will be denied entry.

Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said Emirates' ground crew in Dubai were probably unfamiliar with the SAR's restrictions and wrongly allowed the passengers to board the plane. He added: "The truth is even if they got to Hong Kong, they can't go to the mainland because it has suspended all transit flights from Hong Kong."

The special arrangement to send them to quarantine centers was made on public health and humanitarian considerations, Yiu said.

If they test negative after 14 days, the 10 mainlanders will be deported back to Dubai.

Meanwhile, the government has said Hongkong Post will begin distributing the free surgical masks to some 2.88 million addresses on Tuesday. No registration is required and the distribution will take about three weeks to complete.

Postmen will place the masks in mailboxes and will only knock on doors when that fails.

Those who miss out can collect their masks at the post office within 28 working days, with a collection notification card left by postmen.

Separately, Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng said Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau are putting forward a system for mutual recognition of health codes to facilitate the cross-boundary flow of people without a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Ho said the system is expected to be launched next month, but the resurgence of more coronavirus cases in Beijing has slowed down the negotiation process of the system.

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