Hong Kong health officials have found two confirmed coronavirus infections after 3,495 people were tested in a wealthy district of the city, as the government battles an outbreak linked to an upmarket gym which accounts for 109 infections so far.

Following the outbreak at the Ursus Fitness gym in Sai Ying Pun, the government announced two ambush lockdowns on Saturday, and another on Sunday, in the Mid-Levels district.

Sai Ying Pun lockdown
Lockdown in Sai Ying Pun, Central and Western District on Sunday. Photo: Michael Ho/Studio Incendo.

Around 1,855 people were tested and no cases were found on Saturday after officials locked down Towers 1 and 2 of Robinson Place and Blessing Garden Phase 1 on Robinson Road.

The government imposed two more lockdowns on Sunday in an area opposite the gym on Pok Fu Lam Road and at Towers 1 to 5 of Dynasty Court on Old Peak Road, where two cases were found and another result was being verified.

In total, Hong Kong recorded 24 coronavirus infections on Sunday, all of which were locally transmitted. The source of ten of the cases was unknown.

Mid-levels lockdown
Lockdown in Central and Western District on Saturday. Photo: Kenny Huang/Studio Incendo.

Ten of Sunday’s cases were linked to the Ursus Fitness gym cluster, which accounts for the second largest cluster since the beginning of the pandemic. The worst cluster was linked to dance clubs.

Two more deaths after vaccine

Two men aged 80 and 67 died on Saturday, and a 63-year-old man suffered a stroke, after taking Sinovac, the main vaccine being used in the city’s inoculation drive. An expert committee was to meet on Monday to discuss whether the three incidents were caused by the China-made vaccine.

According to the Department of Health, the two men who died on Saturday had existing chronic illnesses. Last week four other people died within days of receiving a Sinovac jab. Experts have said there was no link between the vaccine and the death in the first two cases last week, while the others were still being investigated.

The deaths have led to a drop in the number of those signing up for the free vaccination programme.

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip said on Facebook on Sunday that the government was considering expanding the vaccination priority groups. He said the age requirement would be lowered, and most people in such groups would no longer have to show proof of employment.

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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.