HONG KONG: Hong Kong is evacuating more than 100 people from a residential building in the New Territories district of Tsing Yi, where two people confirmed with coronavirus live on different floors, authorities said early on Tuesday (Feb 11).
The director of the Centre for Health Protection, Dr Wong Ka-hing, said the government was investigating the suspected environmental transmission of two cases in the building.
Hong Kong has confirmed 42 cases of coronavirus, which has killed more than 900 people, all but two in mainland China.
Dr Wong said it was unclear how many residents were in the building but those who showed symptoms would be put in quarantine as a precautionary measure.
Hong Kong media on Tuesday reported that a 62-year old woman, who lives 10 storeys directly below a man earlier diagnosed with the new coronavirus, had been infected.
Residents in the same unit number of all 35 floors at Hong Mei House in the Cheung Hong Estate were being sent into quarantine while investigations continue, Hong Kong’s The Standard reported on its website.
It is possible the virus spread through faecal matter, The Standard said, citing Hong Kong authorities.
University of Hong Kong microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung told the news site one possibility was that a broken exhaust pipe had allowed the virus to spread.
The biggest number of connected cases in Hong Kong during the 2003 SARS outbreak, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, was in an apartment complex where the virus was found to have spread through sewage pipes.