Mystery intensifies over how virus spreading: Over 100 residents have been evacuated from an apartment building in Hong Kong after two people fell ill with the deadly new coronavirus, stoking fears 2019-nCoV could be spread through pipes. Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection said the two sick people lived on separate floors at Hong Mei House on the Cheung Hong Estate in the New Territories area of Hong Kong, The New York Times reported. Residents were removed from the building after an unsealed pipe was found in the bathroom of one of the patients. The unnamed 62-year-old woman lives 10 floors below an occupant who fell ill before her.
Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s health secretary, said four additional tenants living in three separate units had developed coronavirus symptoms. The symptoms of 2019-nCoV include a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing. Residents were removed from a total of 23 units.
According to the AFP news agency, health officials dressed in masks and white overalls arrived at the 35-story apartment block, home to 3,000 people, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The 35 flats were linked by the same drainage system. The residents were relocated as a precautionary measure, AFP reported officials saying. Wong Ka-hing of the Centre for Health Protection told journalists: “We are not sure what was the exact route of transmission. “It could still be through the usual method of droplets or contact.” –Newsweek