Around 30% of COVID-19 cases in past 2 weeks untraceable — health official

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Dr. Chui Tak-yi, Undersecretary for Food and Health

Hong Kong health authorities pushed anew for coronavirus testing as almost a third of confirmed cases in the past two weeks had no clear sources of infection.

Dr. Chui Tak-yi, Undersecretary for Food and Health, said Thursday that 30% of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases confirmed in the past two weeks were untraceable.

Chui added that of the more than 4,900 cases recorded in the city, about 1,100 or around 23% who did not show symptoms could still be spreading infection.

His appeal to get tested came as two cases from the 12 newly-confirmed infections were detected through the universal community testing program. This brings the total number of asymptomatic new cases found to have the virus during the mass testing program to 21.

The health official said finding invisible carriers will help cut the transmission chain.

As of 8 p.m., there have been 1.52 million residents registered online for mass testing, with over 1.3 million specimens collected.

Seven of the confirmed cases Thursday were imported—including a domestic worker from the Philippines. Five others came from India, including a family of three, while the other one was a returnee from Iran via Qatar.

The two cases detected through mass testing included a 39-year-old who worked in a restaurant in Causeway Bay who left her sample on Sept. 7.

On Sept. 8, she took her five-year-old son to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for an eye operation. He tested negative for COVID-19 in his pre-surgery test, so they continued with the operation Wednesday.

The woman was then confirmed positive, and the boy went through another COVID-19 test, where he now tested positive. On Thursday, the woman, her son, and her husband were found to carry antibodies of the virus.

The other case detected through the program was a 57-year-old female restaurant staff member in Yuen Long. She gave her sample to a testing center on Sept. 9.