The Wuhan coronavirus may very well be spreading by bathroom drainage techniques, Hong Kong specialists have mentioned, citing the instance of two folks on completely different flooring of the identical constructing changing into contaminated.
On Monday night, a 62-year-old lady was confirmed to be contaminated with the virus, in line with Hong Kong’s Centre for Well being Safety. She lived in a unit on the third flooring in Hong Mei Home, Cheung Hong Property. A 75-year-old man, who was confirmed to be the 12th contaminated individual within the metropolis on January 30, was dwelling in the identical unit on the 13th flooring.
The federal government determined to evacuate greater than 100 folks from 32 households from the identical items on all flooring in the identical constructing as a result of they assume the coronavirus might have been transmitted by the bathroom drain pipe. Twenty-one of the households had been despatched to quarantine camps on Tuesday morning, whereas 9 households haven’t but been reached.
4 folks in three households have proven flu-like signs and have been taken to a hospital isolation ward, whereas the others had been taken to quarantine camps, mentioned Sophia Chan Siu-chee, the Secretary for Meals and Well being.
The exhaust pipe connecting the bathroom drain pipe of the girl’s flat had been modified, mentioned Yuen Kwok-yung, chair of Infectious Illnesses on the College of Hong Kong’s Division of Microbiology. When the exhaust fan pumped air out of the bathroom, the air with germs and viruses might have been sucked out from the exhaust pipe in the bathroom, Yuen mentioned.
Yuen mentioned the chance that the Wuhan virus was transmitted by the bathroom drainage system couldn’t be dominated out. He mentioned it was additionally potential that the girl was contaminated in different methods. He mentioned extra investigations had been wanted.
The virus might have been leaked into the girl’s bathroom by air by the exhaust pipe, which was not fully sealed, mentioned Tse Chin-wan, Underneath Secretary for the Atmosphere. Nonetheless, this case was completely different from the extreme acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Amoy Backyard in Kowloon Bay when the virus was transmitted by drain shops, or U-traps, Tse mentioned.
Tse added that the drain shops in Hong Mei Home had been all certified services and had no danger of virus transmission.
“We’re not positive what was the precise route of transmission,” mentioned Wong Ka-hing, the Controller of the Centre for Well being Safety. “It might nonetheless be by the standard methodology of droplets or contact.”
A 59-year-old resident surnamed Chan, who was dwelling along with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren in Hong Mei Home, instructed AFP that she was scared by the contaminated circumstances there.
“We seldom exit already as a result of we don’t have sufficient masks. I don’t permit my grandchildren to play within the hallway,” she mentioned. “Now we will’t even keep at residence.”
Hong Kong is on excessive alert for any potential “tremendous spreader” occasions, particularly within the towering housing blocks that make the town world’s most densely populated locations.
In 2003, 331 folks had been contaminated with the SARS virus by aerosol transmission in Amoy Gardens. It was reported that aerosol particles had been created after drain shops with an outdated design had dried up. Forty-two folks from one housing block in Amoy Gardens died. The loss of life toll from the 2003 SARS outbreak was 299 in Hong Kong.
The federal government has urged folks to repeatedly pour water into drain shops and to place the bathroom lid down earlier than flushing.
Chief Govt Carrie Lam mentioned in a media briefing earlier than the weekly Govt Council assembly that the federal government was extremely involved concerning the state of affairs in Hong Mei Home and would proceed to analyze the reason for the virus transmission. Lam emphasised that this case was not the identical because the SARS outbreak in Amoy Gardens in 2003.
Lam additionally reiterated that the federal government wouldn’t fully shut down the town’s border with the mainland because the variety of incoming vacationers had considerably decreased since obligatory 14-day quarantine measures got here into impact from Saturday. She mentioned the concept of a border shutdown was meaningless.
On January 22, a 75-year-old Hong Kong man, who was dwelling in Hong Mei Home, developed a cough and shortness of breath. On January 24, he was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital. He has been staying within the common ward within the hospital.
Earlier than he was recognized as contaminated on January 30, the person had not instructed the Hong Kong medical workers about his newest go to to Shunde in Guangdong province, between December 30 final yr and January 7. He had additionally sought medical therapy at a clinic in Shunde and took day journeys to Macau from January 10 to 14.
A whole lot of medical workers complained that the federal government didn’t do sufficient to guard them and native residents. 1000’s of medical workers held a five-day strike final week to name for a whole border closure. The federal government didn’t fully shut down the border with the mainland however launched a obligatory 14-day quarantine program for all incoming vacationers.
– Further reporting AFP