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Concerns over virus spread in boarding houses as Hong Kong records 95 new cases



PHOTO: Jimmy Chan on Pexels

Hong Kong has seen a slight uptick in Covid-19 infections, with a new daily total of 95 cases. A report in Coconuts says a domestic helper from Indonesia has tested positive for the virus after a stay in a boarding house. Such boarding houses are used by agencies in Hong Kong to accommodate domestic workers who are in between jobs.

The facilities are usually cramped and overcrowded, providing an ideal breeding ground for a contagious disease, as Singapore has already learnt. There are now concerns that similar outbreaks of the virus are developing in Hong Kong’s boarding homes, with Chuang Shuk-kwan, Head of the Centre for Health Protection’s Communicable Disease Branch, saying officials are now considering mass testing of residents in such facilities.

It’s understood the Indonesian helper who has tested positive was housed at a facility in the district of Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island. She moved in with her new employer last week and developed Covid-19 symptoms 3 days later. Her employer’s family are being quarantined, as are the other domestic workers who stayed at the same boarding house.

Of the other new infections, 4 are imported cases, including 3 people who had travelled to India and another being a domestic worker from the Philippines. There are 91 cases of local transmission, 40 of which have no known source of transmission. There has been one additional death, with an 85 year care home resident succumbing to the virus, bringing the number of fatalities in Hong Kong to 46.

Authorities continue to warn residents against complacency, while urging companies to allow employees to work from home wherever possible.

SOURCE: Coconuts


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