Fifty-nine police officers have been quarantined after a 48-year-old male cop became the 69th person in Hong Kong to be infected with the coronavirus on Thursday night.

The officer, who lives in Yun Mei House, Yau Mei Court in Yau Tong, belongs to the North Point Division and is part of the Eastern District riot police team.

Yau Mei Court Yau Tong
Yau Mei Court in Yau Tong. Photo: Exploringlife, via Wikimedia Commons.

According to the Department of Health, the officer developed a fever and cough on Tuesday and sought treatment at Kwun Tong Community Health Centre. His deep throat saliva specimen tested positive for the coronavirus. He was sent to United Christian Hospital for isolation and treatment on Friday and is in a stable condition.

“The force is highly concerned about the incident, and will cooperate with the Department of Health to conduct the pathological tracking, including providing the officer’s work record and duty sheet,” the police said in a statement.

The force said the officer had no travel history during in the past 14 days and had mainly worked in Chai Wan, North Point and Aberdeen during the incubation period.

His home contacts, namely his wife and mother-in-law, both developed symptoms and were sent to United Christian Hospital for treatment.

Police officers with face masks
Police officers with face masks on. File photo: Jimmy Lam/United Social Press.

On Tuesday, the infected officer attended a dinner party with his colleagues at the Star Seafood Restaurant in Sai Ying Pun. All the 59 officers at the banquet were listed as close contacts with the patient, and had to be put under quarantine.

Among them, 36 people were on duty in the Aberdeen District on Thursday night, while the remaining 23 officers belong to different divisions under the Hong Kong Island Regional Headquarters and the Commercial Crime Bureau.

The police force had suspended their work to minimise their contact with the general public while the officers concerned wait for quarantine arrangements.

The force added they would sterilise related police facilities, vehicles and the disciplined services quarters.

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Kelly Ho

Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.