Two schools hit as HK adds 115 more Covid cases

Two coronavirus outbreaks at schools accounted for some of the 115 new Covid infections reported in Hong Kong on Friday.

The daily figure was down from the record high of 164 recorded on Thursday, but it was still the sixth day running that the city saw a daily caseload of more than 100.

All but four of the new infections were acquired locally, with officials unable to trace the source of six of them.

The unlinked cases involved two retirees who live in Kwai Fong Estate and Tsz Wan Shan, a factory worker who lives in Tin Shui Wai, two transport workers from Tai Wai and Tai Wo Hau, and a student who lives in Tsuen Wan.

The Centre for Health Protection’s Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said around a dozen patients were linked to outbreaks at Yuen Yuen Institute No.3 Secondary School in Tseung Kwan O and Lee I Yao Memorial Secondary School in Kwai Chung.

Chuang said she suspected that some students who live at Covid-stricken Kwai Chung Estate may have transmitted the virus to classmates or school staff.

She added that some of the students said they did not know any others who were infected.

“Of course we can’t rule out the possibility that they interacted with each other while waiting for the exam, or before and after school. But we did ask the students, and they said they didn’t know each other,” she told a press conference.

Chuang also said that contact tracing could be difficult when it comes to some of the patients who are retired.

“Some of the retired people infected, the only places they went to usually are markets, it’s very difficult to trace the market, every one goes there,” she said.

“[These elderly patients] mainly stay at home, they don’t go to special places. So, transmission is quite widespread in the community.”

Chuang said the number of patients linked to Kwai Chung Estate had risen to 396, around two dozen more than on Thursday.

Friday also saw more than 80 preliminary positive cases.