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Social distancing measures extended

The Government today announced that social distancing measures currently in place will be maintained until May 26.   The Food & Health Bureau said the Government relaxed certain restrictions with the vaccine bubble as the basis on April 29, with a view to responding to the aspirations of various trades and the public to resume normal daily lives as soon as possible.   It added that the implementation of the first phase of measures under the vaccine bubble is generally in order.   The bureau explained that to allow the relevant operators of premises and the general public to get used to the relevant measures, the Government will continue to maintain the existing restrictions applicable to catering business premises and scheduled premises, as well as the requirements for group gatherings and mask wearing. http://dlvr.it/RzXrgk

8 COVID-19 cases detected

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating eight additional COVID-19 cases, four of which are locally transmitted with unknown sources of infection.   The four local cases include an office worker, a foreign domestic helper, a construction worker and a returnee from the Mainland.   Of the four remaining cases, three are imported while the other is yet to be classified.   The unclassified case is a 56-year-old woman. She returned to Hong Kong from the Mainland through the Return2HK scheme and was confirmed infected while undergoing home quarantine in a subdivided unit at a building in Tsuen Wan.   The CHP said that as the woman had never left the building she is likely to be an imported case. However, they needed to wait for more test results before she could be classified.   The centre also gave an update on the COVID-19 patient with the South African variant of the virus. The 29-year-old man arrived from Dubai and underwent the 21-day quarantine at the Ramada Hong Kong Grand hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui before moving to a friend’s place at Parkes Building in Jordan.   The centre’s Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan told a press briefing this afternoon that two guests on the same floor of the hotel where the patient had stayed were also found infected with the South African variant and that the patient from Dubai might have caught the virus at the hotel.   “For the updated investigation concerning case number 11643, so far we have not identified other environmental factors causing possible cross-contamination or cross-infection among the cases.   “But we identified there were two cases on the same floor where the patient of case number 11643 had stayed and the whole genome genetic sequencing conducted by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch has shown that they are highly similar.”   Dr Chuang added that there is a chance cross-infection may have occurred through hooks placed on the hotel room doors to hang food.   “The environmental investigation identified that there was a hook at the handle of the door for hanging lunch boxes for residents in the hotel, so (the hooks have) been immediately removed in all designated hotels.   “We have taken some swabs of those hooks we could get a hold of and all tested negative for COVID-19. Regarding the ventilation and drainage pipes at those hotels, no obvious abnormalities have been found.”   Since one or more new confirmed cases have been recorded, Yung Lai House of Yau Lai Estate in Yau Tong, Nina Hotel Tsuen Wan West as well as a construction site for Baptist University’s development of a hostel and academic building complex are included in the compulsory testing notice.   Since there were outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infection in five schools they are also covered in the compulsory testing notice.   The Government will set up a mobile specimen collection station at Yung Lai House tomorrow.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.
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