Local transmission not ruled out

February 2, 2020

(To watch the video with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Centre for Health Protection today said it could not rule out that the 14th and 12th cases of novel coronavirus infection in Hong Kong were locally transmitted.


The centre’s Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan made the statement during a press conference this afternoon.


The 14th case, confirmed on February 1, involves an 80-year-old man who went to the Mainland for a few hours on January 10, took a flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo, Japan, on January 17 and boarded a cruise from Yokohama to Hong Kong on January 20.


Dr Chuang said: “We cannot totally rule out local transmission for this case as well as for the 12th case.


“So we are enhancing the laboratory surveillance and we tested almost 500 patients yesterday and we found one.”


She added that there is a definite risk of transmission in the community either in Hong Kong or places where the 80-year-old patient travelled to.


“Based on the total number of cases we have recorded so far, it’s only 14, so we have to continue our early detection and isolation of cases and quarantine of contacts.”


Responding to a question on the risk of an outbreak in Whampoa Garden, where the 13th infection case lived, Dr Chuang said that the patient was hospitalised at the onset of his symptoms.


She pointed out that his family members were quarantined, adding there is no particular risk of an outbreak at Whampoa Garden.


Dr Chuang added the patient’s mother developed symptoms in quarantine. The mother and another patient have initially tested positive for the virus.


The Centre for Health Protection will update reported novel coronavirus infection cases on its dedicated webpage.

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