Hong Kong records third COVID-19 death this week, two linked to elderly home

Two COVID-19 patients passed away Wednesday, bringing the number of people who have succumbed to the virus in Hong Kong to 10.

The cases involved a 90-year-old woman who lived at the Wong Tai Sin elderly care home where over 30 residents and staff have been infected with COVID-19, and an 89-year-old man whose wife also has the disease.

Both patients died within a week of testing positive for the virus. The 89-year-old reportedly had a history of underlying conditions.

The two deaths are the third COVID-19 fatalities this week—a 95-year-old woman, also a resident at the elderly care center, passed away on Monday. She was admitted to hospital just three days before.

After two and a half months of recording just sporadic local cases, Hong Kong is now fighting its most severe outbreak since the virus patients were confirmed in January.

Since July 6, a total of 320 virus cases have been reported in the city, majority of them local infections. A significant proportion of these infections have no known source, raising concerns that there are a number of asymptomatic patients who could be spreading the disease.

David Hui, an infectious disease expert from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said in an interview with RTHK on Thursday morning that authorities should look into conducting testing at elderly care centers due to the risk of the virus spreading among older individuals.

He also said recommends work-from-home arrangements amid the rise in cases.

“[I] hope companies can allow staff to work from home for some time as there is the risk of transmission while taking public transportation [to and from work],” Hui, who also advises the government on the city’s coronavirus response, added.

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Authorities have enforced a series of strict public health measures in an attempt to curb the virus. Starting yesterday, restaurants are no longer allowed to offer dine-in services from 6pm onwards. A number of virus clusters over the past week and a half have been linked to eating establishments.

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