Visitors and staffers at a hospital in Kwun Tong were told to undergo compulsory coronavirus testing after 19 cases were recorded in one of the wards. The city reported 61 infections on Monday, with 60 locally transmitted cases – 19 of which had unknown sources.

United Christian Hospital
United Christian Hospital. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A mobile specimen collection station was set up near the United Christian Hospital on Monday, after the government issued a compulsory testing order for visitors and staffers who had been to the hospital’s palliative care and medical ward 2D or the intensive care unit.

Leading microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung visited the site on Saturday, and said that the mode of transmission in the ward could not be confirmed yet, but it was likely to be airborne after a “super-spreader” patient stayed in the ward.

Following the outbreak at the United Christian Hospital, the admission of coronavirus patients would be suspended and non-emergency services would be reduced at the site, the Hospital Authority announced on Monday.

gathering ban domestic workers
Four Labour Department officers surround two domestic workers, informing them of the Covid-19 ban on gatherings of more than two. Photo: GovHK.

Elsewhere, two more Covid-19 patients died on Monday. The city has recorded 139 deaths in total.

The government had also issued a compulsory testing order for residents and visitors of Fung Chak House in Choi Wan Estate, Wong Tai Sin, after four sewage samples tested positive for coronavirus. The estate building had not reported any cases as of Monday.

21-day quarantine

As of last Friday, all travellers be required to undergo seven more days of quarantine. New arrivals must now quarantine for 21 days, except those from the mainland, Macau and Taiwan.

Travellers coming from South Africa or the UK will continue be barred from travelling to the city amid an outbreak of a mutated form of Covid-19.

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

A Facebook support group for people who had to undergo quarantine has started an online petition urging the government to revert their “short-sighted” decision on the extended compulsory quarantine period: “On behalf of local and international residents, professionals, students and travellers, we condemn these short-sighted, and rushed actions by the Hong Kong Government,” the petition launched by Hong Kong Quarantine Support Group read.

“We demand a revision to their new requirements which were made without preparation, consultation or concern about the economic, personal and public relations fallout this will cause.”

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.