Coronavirus pandemic - Hong Kong

3rd death in a week as new cases spike

Hong Kong currently has a total of 1,193 confirmed cases.
Hong Kong currently has a total of 1,193 confirmed cases.PHOTO: AFP

Hong Kong recorded its seventh coronavirus-related death yesterday, making it the third in a span of a week.

A spokesman for Princess Margaret Hospital announced that a 55-year-old man died early yesterday morning.

He said the patient had a stroke in the Philippines and was admitted to a local hospital at the end of last month. He was flown back to Hong Kong by air ambulance and was hospitalised on Tuesday.

The latest fatality follows that of a 72-year-old man on Tuesday. The man was one of nine residents infected in a local cluster linked to Sha Tin public housing estate.

A 68-year-old woman living in the same block died last Saturday.

As of yesterday, there were 1,193 confirmed cases in Hong Kong. The spike in numbers came after the health authorities confirmed more than 60 new cases in the past four days, all imported.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the coronavirus situation in Hong Kong "remains stable" although in the past month, there were 114 new cases, of which 102 were people who had travelled to India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Of particular concern was the Sha Tin cluster of 12 involving residents, colleagues and family members, she wrote, adding that "so far, the source of the infections is unknown".

Mrs Lam said on average, 4,000 tests were conducted daily in the first two weeks of this month, up 60 per cent from last month.


She said: "Our short-term goal is to raise this to 7,000 tests daily. The demand for such tests will soar as the authorities work out details of the free-travel area with Guangdong and Macau, on top of effects of the travel bubble, so there is a need to prepare the government for these."

Mrs Lam also said that Hongkong Post will be delivering 10 free disposal masks to every household in the first shipment of locally produced masks made under a government subsidy scheme.

Some 2.9 million residences will be covered and the face masks will be sent out from Tuesday, with the entire exercise lasting about three weeks.

Separately, airport officials yesterday confirmed that 11 mainlanders who shared the same Emirates flight with 26 individuals later diagnosed with Covid-19, have been stuck at the airport for five days as they do not have boarding passes to fly on to China.

The group had tried to travel from Dubai to China, despite a prohibition on people transiting to mainland cities.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2020, with the headline '3rd death in a week as new cases spike'. Subscribe