Daily cases fall as mall prepares to reopen

Top News | Jane Cheung and Sophie Hui 5 Mar 2021

The number of daily infections dropped to single digits after two weeks, with nine cases - including one from an unknown source - reported yesterday.

One more staff from Cartier at Tsim Sha Tsui's K11 Musea mall was infected. He is believed to have contracted the virus from his previously diagnosed colleague.

Authorities issued a second mandatory test notice to all staff and tenants of the mall before its scheduled reopening tomorrow.

Regarding a separate cluster surrounding Mr Ming's Chinese Dining on the mall's ground and first floors, the Centre for Health Protection's head of communicable disease, Chuang Shuk-kwan, said three of 48 environmental samples from the ground floor came back positive.

The Mr Ming's cluster stood at 50, including nine staff, 22 customers and 19 close contacts, with no new infections.

The nine fresh cases comprised three imported and six local infections, including a 69-year-old male security guard at Hung Fuk House on Fuk Wa Street in Sham Shui Po whose infection was untraceable.

Although the guard worked alone, his colleagues who used the same security guard station during other shifts and shared changing rooms with him will be sent to quarantine.

Residents of Hung Fuk House, as well as the guard's home at Ching Moon House of Tin Ching Estate in Tin Shui Wai, will be ordered to take tests.

Also on the compulsory test list are Block 1 of Elegance Gardens in Tuen Mun, Block 2 of Seaview Crescent in Tung Chung and Tower 5 of Residence Oasis in Tseung Kwan O, where cases linked to previous patients live.

Hong Kong's tally yesterday was 11,056, including 201 deaths.

Less than 10 preliminary positive cases are pending confirmation, including at least four from unknown sources.

Meanwhile, more than 100 cross-border container drivers have been affected as mainland authorities started penalizing them for driving empty containers across the border - a practice essential to Hong Kong's reexports, unionists said.

The Container Transportation Employees General Union's chairman, Chan Dik-sau, said it was "illogical" that more than 20 cross-border truck drivers have been removed from the mainland's quarantine exemption list for two months since January for driving empty containers across the border multiple times.

Chan said the drivers were forced to stop working, but the union later found that all containers had different numbers and that the drivers had not breached the rules.

He said mainland authorities also tightened other entry restrictions, such as suspending drivers for 21 days if their estates reported infections, instead of the previously required 14 days.

Logistics companies must also hire mainland drivers to unload goods in the mainland, otherwise cross-border drivers will be punished.

Around 6,000 cross-border drivers have registered for the vaccination program and 2,060 of them have been inoculated.

The Transport Department encourages drivers to get jabs as soon as possible.

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