The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:
As at noon today (January 21), public hospitals had reported to the Department of Health (DH) the admission of 11 patients (five male and six female, aged 8 to 82) in the past 24 hours who met the reporting criteria.
Specimens of the patients concerned have been sent to the DH for testing. Currently, there are 21 patients still under isolation, 19 patients are in stable condition, and two patients in North District Hospital are in critical condition and serious condition respectively due to their underlying diseases. One reported case in North District Hospital has passed away yesterday due to her underlying diseases and her test result for novel coronavirus was negative.
There are currently no patients confirmed as being infected with novel coronavirus in public hospitals.
The Hospital Authority (HA) earlier enhanced laboratory surveillance for pneumonia cases to have early identification of severe community-acquired pneumonia associated with novel coronavirus. The HA Central Committee on Infectious Disease and Emergency Responses (CCIDER) held an ad hoc meeting again today. It was agreed that the enhanced laboratory surveillance would be further extended to include inpatient pneumonia cases with travel history to Mainland China within 14 days before onset of symptoms.
The spokesperson for the HA reminded that restricted visiting arrangements are now imposed in all public hospitals. "Members of the public are advised to avoid visiting patients in wards if they have fever, or have close contact with patients with respiratory symptoms in countries or areas with possible transmission of novel coronavirus infection," the spokesman said.
Visitors of public hospitals are also required to wear masks in all clinical areas and to wash hands before and after visiting hospitals.
The HA will maintain close contact with the Centre for Health Protection to monitor the latest developments and to inform the public and healthcare workers on the latest information in a timely manner.
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