Kai Tak fears as holidays near

Local | Jane Cheung and Erin Chan 28 Sep 2020

Jane Cheung and Erin Chan

A five-day streak of no new cases arising from sources unknown was broken after a worker at a Kai Tak construction site tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday.

The SAR saw six confirmed cases of five females and one man, aged 15 to 47, taking the tally to 5,066 and 105 deaths - a slight rise from only one imported case on Saturday.

Fewer than 10 preliminarily positive patients are awaiting confirmation.

Yesterday's cases included five imported patients from Britain, the Philippines, Tunisia and India and a 22-year-old construction worker infected by an unknown local source.

Chuang Shuk-kwan, the Centre for Health Protection's head of communicable disease branch, said nine colleagues at the same construction site on Muk Tai Street shared the same rest area with him, where they ate together.

The nine are listed as close contacts and need to be quarantined for 14 days. Two of them fell sick and were sent to hospitals. One tested preliminarily positive.

"A total of 500 people work at the construction site and we have distributed sampling bottles to them," Chuang said. "We also recommended closing the site for disinfection."

She said the 22-year-old lives with his family at Hang Cheong Building on Tai Nam Street in Sham Shui Po.

He fell ill on Thursday and went to the emergency department at Caritas Medical Centre the following day. He returned his deep-throat saliva samples on Saturday and test results came back positive.

Chuang said the case indicates asymptomatic carriers still exist in the community and called for people to follow social distancing measures.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said people have lowered their guard against the epidemic following relaxation of health measures. They have been going out more and not paying as much attention to infection control, he added.

Some restaurants have skipped body temperature checks and catered to customers at more than half of the eateries' capacity.

"The National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival are coming. Please remember to carry out hygiene precautions, avoid gathering of crowds and maintain personal and environmental hygiene while celebrating the great festivals," he wrote in his blog yesterday.

He said law enforcement departments have inspected 46,000 eateries and 2,500 scheduled premises since the relaxation of social distancing measures in late August and made 123 and 96 prosecutions.

Authorities have also made 17 prosecutions and issued 1,000 HK$2,000 fines to citizens breaching the four-person social gathering cap.

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po made a gloomy forecast on the global economy.

Traveling is also unlikely to reappear this year as Covid-19 rebounds in many European countries. But Hong Kong will embrace opportunities and stand as a leader in the global supply chain.

Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun said the makeshift hospital next to the AsiaWorld-Expo will follow the technique of "Modular Integrated Construction" to install free-standing structures that have been assembled at factories.

Work at the 800-bed temporary hospital started on September 19 and is expected to be completed in four months. Work to be completed includes building staff facilities and installing electricity.

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