Three public hospitals hit with patient infections

Top News | Jane Cheung 31 Jul 2020

Three public hospitals have taken coronavirus hits among patients - one a four-year-old boy - while awaiting tests.

That came as an 80-year-old man who lived in hard-hit Tsz Wan Shan's Tsz Lok Estate became the city's 25th death yesterday.

The patient with chronic disease was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on July 18. His family agreed not to conduct any resuscitation treatment when his condition took a turn for the worse.

He passed away after 8pm.

Hong Kong yesterday was hit by a record 149 cases, taking the tally to 3,152.

The new cases were made of 84 linked to previous local cases, 61 from unknown local sources and four were imported. It was a ninth consecutive day that cases have exceeded 100.

About 70 preliminary positive patients are expected to be confirmed today.

The Hospital Authority was seeking to deflect questions on clusters of Covid-19 among public hospital patients and staff.

Yesterday's cases involved Caritas Medical Centre in Cheung Sha Wan, North District Hospital in Sheung Shui and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Jordan. Four four patients were listed as preliminary positive cases.

Authority executive Sara Ho Yuen-ha said: "No matter how vigilant and stringent we screen them it's inevitable some asymptomatic patients will go into an internal medicine ward."

The four-year-old was admitted to the surveillance ward at Caritas Medical Centre on Wednesday night with a fever and nausea. He vomited in the ward, where a patient-care assistant with him lacked sufficient protective gear.

"She only wore gloves and a mask and has been classified as a close contact to be sent to a quarantine center," Ho said.

The boy tested as preliminary positive and was transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital for isolation yesterday.

Despite the boy having shared the Caritas ward with two other children and their parents, Ho said beds are farther apart in the surveillance facility and the others would not be quarantined.

In North District Hospital, a 70-year-old woman admitted at 2am yesterday stayed in an internal medicine ward for four hours before she was diagnosed with the virus.

"She was admitted with fatigue and anemia," Ho said. "She was not suffering from a fever."

But a chest scan indicated an infection and she told medics she had lost her sense of taste. She underwent a test and was moved to a surveillance ward at 6am. She showed up as a preliminary positive case.

Six patients sharing the same cubicle in an internal medicine ward were listed as close contacts. Five went to isolation wards and one who had been discharged to a quarantine center.

In Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a 64-year-old man was admitted to the internal medicine ward on Tuesday with chronic heart problems.

Blood tests showed a low white blood cell count and he was moved to a surveillance ward while awaiting test results. He was listed as a preliminary positive case.

Of eight patients who were in the same cubicle with him, seven went to isolation wards and a discharged one to a quarantine center.

Also in Queen Elizabeth, a 71-year-old woman with heart problems was a preliminary positive case and went straight to the isolation ward from the emergency room.

On yesterday's confirmed cases, more came from clusters at the Fulum restaurant in Tuen Mun Central Square, the Sheung Shui slaughterhouse and Cornwall Elderly Home (Golden Branch) in Tuen Mun.

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