With two more cases reported on Tuesday, the total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pneumonia in Hong Kong has increased to 62.
The two new cases involve a 32-year-old woman who is the domestic helper of the patient of the 52nd case confirmed on Feb. 13, and a 58-year-old man, the Center for Health Protection (CHP) said on Tuesday in a statement.
The statement said both two patients had good past health and were in stable condition now. The female patient had no travel history during the incubation period, while the male patient traveled to Zhong Shan in Guangdong Province, and Macao during the incubation period.
In order to minimize the risk of community transmission, the Hospital Authority (HA) on Tuesday announced the further extension of the Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance Program to advance the identification of novel coronavirus infected patients.
The HA decided to extend the surveillance to outpatients from inpatients. Starting from Wednesday, Feb. 19, Accident and Emergency Department (AED) or General Out-patient Clinic (GOPC) patients aged 18 or above, presented with certain symptoms, will be required to collect specimen by themselves, if hospital admission is unnecessary. And they need to return the specimens to the AED or GOPC for further testing.
In the coming week, 17 AEDs and over 50 GOPCs of the HA will launch this trial program with a view to advance the detection of infected patients and to minimize the risk of community outbreak.