A woman wearing a facemask runs past other commuters walking in an MTR underground metro station amid the coronavirus pandemic in Hong Kong on Nov 25, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong’s COVID-19 tally topped a grim milestone of 6,000 on Friday as 92 new cases were reported, marking a daily high since Aug 7.
The source of origin of 17 local cases remained unknown
Among the fresh infections, 89 were locally transmitted, including 58 cases linked to a dance cluster, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, said at a press conference in the afternoon. The cluster, the city’s largest to date, now has 367 patients.
The source of origin of 17 local cases remained unknown, Chuang said. These cases scattered across the city, including one involving a 14-year-old boy who studied at S.K.H. All Saints’ Middle School in Mong Kok. The school will suspend face-to-face classes for two weeks for disinfection, Chuang said.
The three imported cases reported on Friday were from Nepal, Russia and Brazil, respectively.
Hong Kong’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 6,039, with 108 related deaths.
A one-off ex-gratia cash allowance of HK$5,000 for locally confirmed COVID-19 patients is open for eligible Hong Kong residents to apply from Friday, the Social Welfare Department announced
Meanwhile, a potential new cluster may be taken place at Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital in Happy Valley as a patient who tested preliminarily positive died on Thursday. The 77-year-old woman, who was admitted since mid-August, developed a fever on Wednesday and experienced breathing difficulty on Thursday. She died that evening, Chuang said.
Two of the health workers who had contact with the woman tested preliminarily positive. Chuang said the infection source of the woman could be health workers or her relatives who had visited her.
Chuang also said there are more than 60 people tested initially positive as of Friday afternoon.
Grant application opens
A one-off ex-gratia cash allowance of HK$5,000 for locally confirmed COVID-19 patients is open for eligible Hong Kong residents to apply from Friday, the Social Welfare Department announced.
The department said the one-off allowance aims to remove the potentially infected people’s concern over coming forward to take COVID-19 tests given that they would suffer from financial hardship while being hospitalised for treatment.
Applicants must be Hong Kong residents who are confirmed by the Department of Health to have contracted COVID-19 locally on or after Nov 22. They must also be currently employed but not entitled to paid sick leave or are self-employed and are facing financial hardship while being hospitalized in public hospitals for COVID-19 treatment.
They are not required to undergo any specific means test, but have to declare that they meet the eligibility criteria and provide basic information about their current employment.
The department will assess the applications and may seek to verify relevant information with concerned government departments, the Hospital Authority or the applicants' employers as appropriate.
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