Coronavirus: Hong Kong records third death in a week

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

HONG KONG - Hong Kong recorded its seventh coronavirus-related death on Thursday (June 25), making it the third in a span of a week.

The spokesman for the Princess Margaret Hospital announced that a 55-year-old man died early Thursday morning.

He said the patient suffered a stroke in the Philippines, was admitted to the local hospital end-May and 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, one of nine residents confirmed to have been infected, lived in the Sha Tin public housing estate that was at the centre of a local cluster.

On Saturday, a 68-year-old woman living in the same block also died.

Earlier this month, around 100 residents were evacuated from units in a block at the estate after the cluster grew.

As at Wednesday, there was a total of 1,193 confirmed cases.

The spike in numbers came after health authorities confirmed 48 new cases the past three days, of which all are imported.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, 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 June, up 60 per cent from May.

"Our short-term goal is to raise this to 7,000 tests daily. The demand for such tests will soar as 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 noted that Hongkong Post will be delivering a package of 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 under the move and the face masks will be sent out from Tuesday with the entire exercise lasting about three weeks.

Separately, airport officials on Thursday 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 did not have boarding passes to fly on to the mainland.

The passengers arrived in Hong Kong on Emirates flight 380 last Saturday and wanted to catch a connecting flight to mainland China, the airport authority said.

The group had attempted to travel from Dubai to the mainland despite a prohibition on transits to mainland cities.

One passenger agreed to return to Dubai on Wednesday, while the others who refused were placed in a quarantine camp.

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