- Patient in Ruttonjee Hospital, Wan Chai, is second Hongkonger certified as struck down by the illness, with total of six cases confirmed in the city
- Pressure increases on government to tighten – or even close – its border with mainland China, where virus has killed dozens
Hong Kong now has a sixth confirmed case of Wuhan coronavirus, sources said on Sunday, as more pressure piled on the government to tighten or even close its border with mainland China.
The latest case came a day after Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor declared the outbreak an emergency and rolled out a series of measures to prevent further infection.
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The patient, in Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai, was diagnosed as having the virus on Sunday, and would be transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital, near Lai Chi Kok, sources from the Hospital Authority said. He is set to undergo further tests.
The Hongkonger with fever symptoms had been to Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the epicentre of the outbreak, and returned to Hong Kong via high-speed rail.
It is not immediately known when he returned from the mainland but a medical source said he had gone to Ruttonjee Hospital after being bitten by a dog. However, at that time there was no record of him having travelled to the city in Hubei province.
He went back to the hospital two days later with fever symptoms, when it was discovered he had been to Wuhan. Efforts are underway to trace medical staff who treated him during his first visit.
The patient is the second resident of Hong Kong confirmed as having the infection, out of a total of six cases detected in the city so far.
The health minister said on Sunday the government was looking at whether to increase border controls, including shortening operating hours at checkpoints.
However, she said closing the border to the mainland entirely was impractical.
"(The government) would definitely consider stepping up border control measures, but (we would also have to look into) which option would be the best at a certain time," Secretary for Food and Health Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee told a television programme.
She added the administration would discuss the matter with mainland authorities before bringing in new border measures.
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Meanwhile, Macau confirmed three new cases of the Wuhan virus on Sunday, raising its total to five.
Officials from Macau said one of those infected was a 58-year-old Wuhan resident, who arrived in the casino hub via Hong Kong on a ferry.
The woman, who boarded a ferry at the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal on Thursday, said she felt dizzy and unwell when she disembarked, and was immediately taken to hospital, according to Macau's government information bureau.
Health chief Chan said the Hong Kong government would immediately start tracing those who might have come into contact with the woman, but did not say whether the city's administration had received prior reports from Macau authorities.
More to follow …
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