Hong Kong: Nine members of the same family get infected with coronavirus after sharing a meal

Nine out of the ten new confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hong Kong on Sunday were reported among family members who shared a hotpot and a barbecue meal

On Sunday, Hong Kong confirmed 10 new cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection. Nine out of these were reported among members of the same family, who were present at a family gathering on January 26 at Lento Party Room in Kwun Tong. With ten new cases, the tally in Hong Kong has reached 36, along with a fatality reported on February 4.

Hong Kong family members get infected with coronavirus

Nine family members constituted the ten latest coronavirus cases confirmed in Hong Kong on Sunday. The nine infected were present at a family gathering on January 26, where they shared a hotpot and a barbecue meal. Two members from mainland China were also present, one of whom has tested negative, while test results for the other are pending.

The ages of those infected ranges from 22-68 years. Earlier in the day, a 24-year-old male member and his grandmother tested positive. By evening, the man's parents, two aunts and three cousins were confirmed to have the infection as well. The tenth case, not related to this family, was of a 70-year-old man who had not traveled out of Hong Kong since January 9.

Hotpot meal
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Facing challenge in isolating suspected cases, say Health authorities

"We're facing major difficulties in isolating the suspected cases and tracing those who had close contact with the confirmed patients," said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Center for Health Protection, South China Morning Post reported. He further said that some people showed only mild symptoms, which rendered it difficult to assess whether they have 2019-nCoV or not.

Hong Kong mandates quarantine now

Hong Kong has ordered a mandatory quarantine of 14-days for travelers coming from mainland China. The order came into effect on Saturday, which saw a significant drop in visitors, with 23,299 people entering the city on Saturday as against 95,982 on Friday. They entered through the airport, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and Shenzhen Bay Port—the three control points that remain open.

Only 1,430 came through land crossings on Saturday from Macau and the mainland. People coming from Macau are not required to be quarantined. On Sunday, the death toll due to the deadly novel coronavirus reached 910, with 40,554 cases reported from over two dozen countries.

Related topics : Coronavirus