Hong Kong has recorded 13 new imported coronavirus cases – all returning from Pakistan – following weeks of single-digit daily infections.

The newly-confirmed patients included four females and nine males, aged two to 46, who came back on Thursday via Doha. All arrivals have been sent to Chun Yeung Estate in Fo Tan for a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

hong kong international airport quarantine order coronavirus
File photo: Rachel Wong/HKFP.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, said on Friday that authorities had recorded a total of 1,100 people travelling in from Pakistan, 33 of whom had tested positive for Covid-19: “The percentage is around three per cent, which is relatively high when compared [with] other countries.”

She added the jump does not increase the risk of local transmissions: “It reflects the outbreak situation in Pakistan.”

Hong Kong has reported 1,079 cases since the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. More than 5.8 million people have been infected worldwide, leading to more than 360,000 deaths, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Chuang Shuk-kwan
Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan. Photo: i-Cable screenshot.

As of noon on Friday, there were 28 confirmed patients receiving treatment in seven public hospitals across the city, according to Dr Sara Ho of the Hospital Authority. One of them was in critical condition, while the rest were stable.

She added hospitals currently have enough personal protective equipment – such as N95 respirators and face shields – to last more than two months, though supplies remain tight.

Asked whether the government plans on increasing the maximum number of people allowed in a public gathering from eight, Chuang said the matter was being discussed: “There is no absolutely scientific standard as to when transmission will happen, so the whole point is about minimising group gathering as a way of minimising the risk of transmission.”

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.