More temple-goers, cruise ship passengers among new confirmed cases, bringing total to 79

(Left) Food and Environmental Hygiene personnel disinfect the sidewalk outside the Maylun Apartments building, the site of a Buddhist temple where at least four temple-goers reportedly caught the coronavirus, (right) passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship disembarking from a chartered flight. Screengrabs via Apple Daily video and Facebook video.
(Left) Food and Environmental Hygiene personnel disinfect the sidewalk outside the Maylun Apartments building, the site of a Buddhist temple where at least four temple-goers reportedly caught the coronavirus, (right) passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship disembarking from a chartered flight. Screengrabs via Apple Daily video and Facebook video.

Health officials this afternoon confirmed that five more people have been confirmed to have COVID-19, including two passengers from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship, and two more North Point temple worshippers.

Chuang Shuk-kwan, communicable disease chief at the Center for Health Protection, told reporters at a press briefing this afternoon that the new confirmed cases comprise one man and four women, aged 35 to 77.

Two of the cases — two women aged 57 and 66, and referred to as cases 76 and 77, respectively — were confirmed to have visited the Fook Wai Ching She Temple, with one of them calling the CHP hotline after seeing weekend news reports about the other confirmed cases appearing to relate to the temple.

Chuang said that around 130 people had so far contacted the Department of Health to say they had also been at the temple. Seven of those reported feeling unwell and were taken to hospital for checks, 16 were put into quarantine, and the rest were put under medical observation.

Chuang also confirmed that two women, aged 58 and 59, who returned to the city from the Diamond Princess cruise ship — the scene of a major outbreak — had tested positive today. She also confirmed that two other cruise ship passengers have preliminarily tested positive, and are waiting for lab tests to definitively confirm whether or not they have the coronavirus.

Additionally, a 35-year-old businessman from Yuen Long who last returned from Shenzhen by car on Feb. 7 — one day before the SAR imposed mandatory quarantine measures for all travelers arriving in Hong Kong from the mainland — also tested positive.

The new patients bring the total number of confirmed local cases relating to the Diamond Princess to three, and the number related to Fook Wai Ching She Temple to six.

Along with the uptick in new infections, Sara Ho, the Hospital Authority chief manager for patient safety and risk management, announced that several more Hongkongers have recovered from the the novel coronavirus, with the number of those discharged from hospital rising to 19 as of today.

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CITY: HONG KONGCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: HEALTH

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