Silent Covid-19 transmission feared in Tuen Mun as 3 unlinked cases found

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Oi Fai House of Yau Oi Estate, a public housing estate in Tuen Mun (SCREENSHOT: Google Streetview/maps.google.com)

Health authorities warned there may be a silent transmission of Covid-19 in Tuen Mun after two of the eight confirmed cases on Wednesday were found to live in the district while another resident there tested preliminarily positive for the virus.

The Centre for Health Protection said the two local cases involved are a 71-year-old female retiree who lives in Oi Fai House of Yau Oi Estate and a 41-year-old resident of Shan King Estate. Another resident of Oi Fai House also tested preliminarily positive, said CHP’s Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan.

“We cannot exclude that there’s some silent transmission in the Tuen Mun area. We cannot find any exact linkage between these three cases yet,” she said in a press briefing.

The retiree had a headache on Apr. 4, and was confirmed with Covid-19 the next day. Chuang said she and some friends would have group exercises in front of the Tuen Mun Government Offices during her incubation period and would dine together in nearby restaurants.

The other Oi Fai House resident with a preliminarily positive test result, a 70-year-old woman, lived two storeys away from the retiree. Chuang said she lived alone and barely went out, but because of her poor eyesight some people had to visit her to help her out.

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“For the two cases who stay in the same building, Oi Fai Lau, one of them did not go out. So it is possible that her family members or a friend who visited her during the incubation period may be a case. And we’re tracing if they’re confirmed, whether there’s any common exposure between, for example, a case and another case,” Chuang said.

The Shan King Estate resident confirmed with Covid-19 last worked in Wheelock House in Central on Apr. 1. His colleagues will be quarantined.

He had visited the Toys R’ Us branch in Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui as well as the SINO Centre in Mong Kok to purchase games. He also had lunch with friends in a restaurant on Stanley Street.

The remaining six Covid-19 cases CHP confirmed are imported.

One of them is a foreign domestic worker from the Philippines who entered Hong Kong on Mar. 25. She was found with a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19.

Two others who flew in from Pakistan on Mar. 23 were also confirmed to have the variant of the coronavirus.  They both tested positive while under quarantine.

The remaining imported cases were from India and Egypt.

Hong Kong has recorded 11,540 Covid-19 cases to date. Chuang said more than 10 people tested preliminarily positive for the virus, but most of them were imported cases.

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