Spain traveler poses virus fears

Local | Jane Cheung 18 Aug 2020

A 33-year-old man who recovered from Covid-19 four months ago tested positive again after traveling to Spain, but health authorities are not sure if it is due to persistent viral carriage or reinfection.

He was among 44 new confirmed cases yesterday, which comprises 20 cases linked to previous local infections, 11 from unknown local sources and 13 imported cases, taking the SAR tally to 4,525.

Another 20 preliminarily positive cases are awaiting confirmation.

The Centre for Health Protection's Chuang Shuk-kwan said the 33-year-old is an IT worker living in Block 2 of Academic Terrace on Pok Fu Lam Road

He first tested positive on March 28 after developing a cough and a fever on March 23. On April 15, he was discharged after two of his samples tested negative.

The Hospital Authority's chief manager for quality and standards, Lau Ka-hin, said experts will conduct tests on the man to see if he has antibodies in his blood and compare genetic sequencing between the virus he is carrying and samples of his previous infection.

Chuang said Kwai Tsing container terminal has recorded two more infected drivers, but they are not from Wang Kee Port Operation Services, which has seen 41 workers diagnosed with Covid-19.

She said she had met with the transport and housing bureau and unions to see how infection control in the terminal can be stepped up.

"Companies will expand the common rest areas and make them less crowded, as they can't be closed for workers working 24 hours in each shift," she said.

The chairman of the Container Transportation Employees General Union, Chan Dik-sau, said that besides a thorough cleanup, companies at the terminal should provide more areas for workers to rest and implement new distancing measures.

On an intrahospital cluster at Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, Lau said one more male patient, 71, who stayed in the same ward cubicle as two Covid-19 patients, has tested preliminarily positive, taking the cluster's tally to seven.

Lau said as pressure on beds eased with the opening of AsiaWorld-Expo treatment center, the community isolation facility at Lei Yue Mun holiday camp has suspended operations for installation of Wi-Fi and upgrade on power supply systems.

People there will be transferred to tier-two beds in hospitals awaiting discharge, but he said Lei Yue Mun will be used again in the event of a surge in cases.



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