Covid-19 ‘super-spreader’ in K11 restaurant feared as FDW from PH tests positive

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Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, Communicable Disease Branch head of the Centre for Health Protection (SCREENSHOT: Information Services Department/

Health authorities said on Friday a cleaner at a Chinese restaurant in a Kowloon shopping mall may be a “super-spreader” of the coronavirus after about 30 individuals were either confirmed or tested preliminarily positive for Covid-19.

Twelve newly confirmed Covid-19 infections were traced back to Mr. Ming’s Chinese Dining, half of the 24 cases the Centre for Health Protection logged on Friday. They include five staff members, another five customers, and two of their close contacts.

The restaurant said in a statement on Facebook on Thursday that they will do another round of deep cleaning and that they have tested all of their employees for standard protocol.

Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan from the CHP said the restaurant’s employees all had negative Covid-19 test results by Feb. 15. But the cleaner developed a cough on Feb. 18 and still went to work on Feb. 19 when there were about 76 customers during lunchtime.

Chuang said all but one of Mr. Ming’s Chinese Dining customers who contracted the virus had lunch on Feb. 19. The suspected “super-spreader” developed a fever in the afternoon of the same day.

Eleven of the 20 individuals who tested preliminarily positive for Covid-19 today were also linked to the restaurant.

Fears of a coronavirus “super-spreader” last arose in November, when the number of Covid-19 cases ballooned after several dancers in a club in Wan Chai contracted the virus. Over 700 people or at least six percent of Hong Kong’s current coronavirus caseload of 10,951 were linked to that outbreak, making it the city’s largest infection cluster to date.

Only one of the 18 local Covid-19 infections logged on Friday had no known source: a 59-year-old man who works in Tai Kok Tsui.

Six of the new infections were imported—these include a Filipina domestic worker who entered Hong Kong on Feb. 20. The confirmation of her Covid-19 test result took a while due to a “leakage” in her specimen, Chuang explained.

Two imported cases—one from Pakistan and another from Ukraine—carried the variant containing the N501Y mutation which was first found in the United Kingdom. Variants of the coronavirus containing this mutation were believed to be more contagious.

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