A 63-year-old man who fled his Covid-19 isolation room at Queen Elizabeth Hospital last December was sentenced to six months in prison on Friday. He cited a fear of needles.

Li Wan-keung appeared at Kowloon City Magistrate’s Court and admitted violating pandemic prevention regulations. He said he had run away “because he was scared of needles” and asked the magistrate just to fine him, according to RTHK.

Li Wan-keung. File Photo: Facebook.

The magistrate refused Li’s request, saying his actions were “selfish” and he had “ignored the safety of others.”

Li was on the run for 54 hours before authorities found him and returned him to hospital.

No new infections

A new round of overnight lockdowns on Thursday evening found no new infections. A preliminary positive case found in Yau Ma Tei was in fact a recovered Covid patient, the Centre for Health Protection’s Director of Communicable Diseases Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan confirmed on Friday.

The patient had been discharged from hospital last Sunday and his test showed antibodies to the virus.

Government personnel enter a building inside the “restricted area” in Jordan. File photo: GovHK.

Chuang said authorities may consider exempting similar individuals from the mass lockdown testing to avoid future incidents. “We may consider this, provided the person can produce evidence that they were a previous confirmed case. ”

Hong Kong reported 37 new cases on Friday, 34 of which were local infections. Nine cases out of the 34 came from untraceable sources.

Among the new infections was an employee at an engineering company in Tuen Mun whose colleague had recently travelled to South Korea, and a man who arrived from Shenzhen on a business visa which exempted him from quarantine. One more infection was found in the developing cluster related to the construction of the third runway.

Chuang said new compulsory testing orders would be issued at most home addresses of the nine untraceable cases, which included buildings in Tuen Mun, Sai Ying Pun, Sheung Wan and Tung Chung.

The city’s total cases stand at 10,590, with 186 deaths.

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