'Private Firm Cluster Could See Dozens More Cases'

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2020-08-01 HKT 17:56

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  • 'Private firm cluster could see dozens more cases'

Health officials on Saturday said they fear the number of cases linked to a cluster tied to a direct marketing firm could grow into triple digits as they confirmed more coronavirus infections were linked to the company, Star Global.

This comes as the Hospital Authority said four more Covid-19 patients died on Saturday – the highest number of deaths in a day since the outbreak began. Meanwhile the Centre for Health Protection said 125 cases were added, of which only one is an imported case, raising the total tally to 3,396.

Seven new cases were tied to the direct marketing firm raising the total cases in the cluster to 17.

The company, which sells red wine and cosmetics products, has a unit at the basement of Yee On Court on Argyle Street, and is now also believed to have different branches in the city. It had also conducted a training programme for some groups recently.

The officials had said on Friday that they were worried the cluster could grow as the firm had a facility at Ho Man Tin which could accommodate 100 people.

“We are still getting information,” said the Centre for Health Protection’s Chuang Shuk-kwan. “Because the scale of the outbreak is high, we are treating everyone who stayed there for a while as close contact.”

Chuang said some people who attended their training activities did not wear face masks.

The official said the firm had held training programmes recently and she fears the cases from the cluster could go into triple digits. But the officials said they were still collecting information to see how many people were involved.

The health officials said most of the confirmed cases so far were employees, but did not specify how many customers were affected. They said efforts are on trace the people who had come into contact with the infected staff.

Chuang said members of the public had reported receiving letters, purportedly from CHP officials, asking about their whereabouts for contact tracing.

She said these were not from the CHP and the centre had never sent letters like this to the public. Anyone can call the centre if they have doubts about such enquiries, she said.