Social welfare staff taken ill at coronavirus-hit HK housing block Hong Mei House

13-Feb-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Five staff from a social welfare office in the Hong Kong housing block evacuated because of coronavirus cases have been sent to hospital with symptoms of flu, according to a workers’ union.

They worked at a family service centre on the ground floor of Hong Mei House on Cheung Hong Estate, from which more than 100 residents in 34 households were removed in the early hours of Tuesday. Two people in the block were confirmed to be infected with the deadly virus, which has been named Covid-19 by the World Health Organization.

Three more people related to the Tsing Yi block were also confirmed as infected later that day.

By Tuesday evening, a total of 49 people were confirmed as infected with the virus, which had already killed one person in the city and more than 1,000 in mainland China.

Leung Kin-hung, chair of the Social Work Officer Grade Branch of the Hong Kong Chinese Civil Servants’ Association, said five workers from the Social Welfare Department’s Tsing Yi South Integrated Family Service Centre were sent to different hospitals on Tuesday after saying they had flu symptoms such as fever, a cough and diarrhoea.

“Those five staff have not met the two households with infected cases. The centre also did not share the same pipes,” Leung said, adding that it was not clear whether all five were social workers.

“Now, the only relevance is the centre is located at Hong Mei House.”

Leung, who learned about the news from the management of the Social Welfare Department on Wednesday morning, said the workers’ latest condition was not immediately clear.


Category: Hong Kong

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