Skyscraper evacuated: New transmission of coronavirus detected?

Hong Kong authorities have evacuated residents of 35 households sharing the drain, on suspicion that a coronavirus is spreading this way

Source: B92, Jutarnji list
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Ilustracija: EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE
Ilustracija: EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE

Real drama took place in Hong Kong on Monday. Authorities ordered the evacuation of an apartment building there, after it was confirmed that two residents were infected with a coronavirus.

A man and a woman were infected, reportedly in their sixties. According to the South China Morning Post, Jutarnji List daily reports, an infected woman, 62, lived in an apartment just below the man's, and these apartments have a common drain.

That information prompted alarm with the authorities now investigating the possibility of the virus being transmitted by air. Therefore, they immediately evacuated the residents of 35 other apartments that share that drainage system and subjected them to medical supervision.

The infected woman is now known to be the first to suffer from coronavirus - she started coughing on February 3, then went to the doctor three times in the next 4 days, and then checked into Princess Margaret Hospital on February 9. She was immediately placed in an isolated ward and she is currently in a stable condition.

At the same time, authorities located members of her family who were also quarantined and subjected to coronavirus testing, and a taxi driver who drove the woman to the hospital was invited to the hospital for a check-up.

Professor of Microbiology at the University of Hong Kong, Yuen Kwok, said that the drainage pipe in the bathroom was not well closed and thus was able to transmit the virus, present in the faeces, through ventilation.

"When a person turns on a ventilation fan in the bathroom, the air from the sewer can enter the toilet via the vent pipe", Kwok said.

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