Businessman who flew to Europe, tourist who visited India are latest Hong Kong coronavirus cases

Photo: Tony Hisgett/Flickr
Photo: Tony Hisgett/Flickr

Health officials have confirmed that a businessman who traveled to Europe, and an elderly man who went to India with a tour group have become the two latest confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the city to 107.

Speaking to reporters at a daily afternoon press conference, Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said today that case 106 is a 56-year-old businessman — a Hongkonger of Indian descent — who lives at Po Shan Mansions in the Mid-Levels with his wife, two daughters, and a domestic worker.

Chuang confirmed that during the incubation period, case 106 had spent a lot of time traveling between Hong Kong, London, and Paris, and had also been to his office at the New East China Sea Commercial Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, where he met with clients. He went to see a doctor after experiencing a headache and fever, and was confirmed to have contracted the virus today.

Chuang appealed to anyone who flew business class on British Airways flight 0323 from Paris to London on March 3, or on flight BA27 from London to Hong Kong on March 4, to get in touch with the CHP.

Both the U.K. and France has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent days, with France currently reporting 423 cases, and the U.K. reporting 116.

Chuang also confirmed that an 85-year-old male, case 107, who had recently returned to the SAR from a holiday in India was also confirmed to have contracted the virus today. Chuang said that case 107 was on the same tour group as patient 105, a 69-year-old woman from Tai Hang who was confirmed to have caught the virus this week.

Aside from spending a lot of time home, case 107 did visit Cheung Chau — home to the famous bun festival — for a few hours on March 4.

Chuang added that the two new cases were likely to be imported cases given that both men had traveled abroad. In addition to the two newly-confirmed cases, the husband of case 105 may be a preliminary positive, but that confirmatory lab results will come out later today.

At a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, health officials said they’ve been trying to contact around 20 people who were part of the same tour group to India as patients 105 and 107. Chuang said today that case 105 confirmed that during the incubation period, she had attended two wedding banquets in one day — one of them at the Sheraton Hotel — and that the people who had been sitting at the same tables as her would be considered close contacts, and should contact CHP.

In addition to the two new confirmed cases, Hospital Authority chief manager for clinical effectiveness and technology management Linda Yu confirmed that five more people have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 51, with 53 people still in hospital.

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