Storm delays confirmation of COVID-19 cases, 50 HK Phil crew to get tested

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The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. (SOURCE: Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra/Facebook)

Hong Kong did not confirm any new cases of COVID-19 infection Wednesday after a storm battered the city the day before, affecting its testing capacity.

In a statement Wednesday, the Centre for Health Protection said because Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 was still in force past 7 p.m. yesterday, the specimen collection service of the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) was suspended.

No samples tested positive for COVID-19 from those handled by the PHLSB, which was operating at limited capacity.

The CHP also said they are still investigating a preliminary positive case involving a 35-year-old male musician from the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil).

Fifty HK Phil crew members backstage will also undergo testing. The backstage personnel wore masks and did not have contact with the musician.

Health authorities have sent over 90 of the musician’s fellow performers to quarantine centres. The woodwind musician did not wear a mask during his performance at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (HKCC) with other orchestra musicians on Friday, Oct. 9 and Saturday, Oct. 10.

The concert hall where the orchestra performed will also be closed for 14 days for disinfection.

The musician lived at the Coastal Skyline in Tung Chung. Family members who live with him remain asymptomatic and were sent to a quarantine centre.

The CHP also advised those who attended the performances to avail of the free coronavirus testing in four centres set up in various Hong Kong districts. They also told concert attendees to pay attention to their body and get tested should they feel unwell.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said there are more than 10 preliminary positive cases.