‘Not a good sign’ : 8 new COVID-19 cases include 3 locals with untraceable infection source

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Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection. (FILE PHOTO)

Eight new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Hong Kong Tuesday as authorities tightened social distancing measures in light of increasing numbers of local infections without discernible sources.

“This is not a good sign, and I hope that the situation will not continue,” Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said in Cantonese.

Chuang said they will observe the trend in the coming days. She urged the public to continue observing social distancing measures.

Of the eight new cases, three are imported. This includes a Filipino domestic helper who flew in via Hong Kong Airlines flights HX782 on Oct. 4, a seafarer from Germany, and a returnee from Russia.

Three of the five local COVID-19 cases have no traceable source of infection. All had activities during the long holiday weekend from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4.

These include a 33-year-old man who went to a gathering with 16 family members in his relative’s house in Whampoa Gardens, Hung Hom. He stayed at home in North Point and went to a City Plaza cinema as well as a noodle shop in Fortress Hill.

The family members have been sent to quarantine, Chuang said.

Another is a 43-year-old waiter at La Soleil Vietnamese Restaurant at Royal Park Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. He started feeling unwell on Oct. 2, but went to work on Oct. 2. Chuang said workers who ate with him will be quarantined.

The head of the Communicable Disease Branch of the CHP also said those who went to the restaurant from Sept. 20 to Oct. 2 who start to get unwell should have their samples tested for coronavirus.

The third local case with no source of infection is a 22-year-old student who had a fever on Oct. 1. On that day, he went with friends to several restaurants in Yuen Long and Tuen Mun.

People who worked in those restaurants will be tested, Chuang said.

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases with untraceable sources of infection was a cause for concern, Chief Executive Carrie Lam earlier this morning said.

“We can’t say that the third wave of the outbreak has totally gone away,” she said.

Hong Kong’s leader as well as Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said the current social distancing measures will stay on for another week.