Hong Kong: Appeal to avoid family gatherings

The Centre for Health Protection today urged the public to avoid family gatherings due to a rise in COVID-19 family clusters.

The centre’s Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan made the appeal during a press briefing this afternoon.

“We observed that there are quite a number of household clusters which are expected because the households’ family members stay together and the attack rate is very high.

“Many of them - the whole family- get infected because (none of us) have immunity (to the virus). That's why, once (the virus is) introduced to the family, the whole family might get infected.

"But we also observed some extended family clusters - for example, the grandparents and children or the aunties - they have some family gatherings during weekends as usual."

Dr Chuang emphasised that adhering to social distancing measures is key to preventing the spread of the virus.

“So, I think we may have to stop this practice for one or two weeks to maintain social distancing, because once any one of (the family members) gets infected, it is very likely through (a lack of) social distancing, other members of the family will get infected.

“We especially want to protect the elderly, so try to avoid gatherings with the elderly.”

There were 125 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported today, of which 124 are locally transmitted and one is imported.

Among them, 79 are epidemiologically linked with local cases while 62 patients were infected via gatherings with family or friends.

This story has been published on: 2020-08-01. To contact the author, please use the contact details within the article.

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