Panic in Hong Kong: Wuhan coronavirus spread through pipesChristian Fernsby ▼ | February 10, 2020
More than 100 residents in 35 households in a public estate in Hong Kong were evacuated in the early hours today after two people in the block were confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus.
Health in China Hong Kong evacuation
Topics: Hong Kong Wuhan coronavirus
She was found to have lived directly below a man in Room 1307 on the 13th floor, who was confirmed earlier to be Hong Kong’s 12th case.
University of Hong Kong microbiologist Professor Yuen Kwok-yung said a vent pipe, which connected to a discharge pipe in a bathroom was not properly sealed and could have carried the virus present in faeces into bathrooms by extraction fans.
“When a person turns on the exhaust fan inside the toilet, the air inside the drainage system can enter the toilet via the ventilation pipe,” he said.
As a precaution, Yuen said all flats numbered 7 on every floor had to be vacated so their piping could be inspected.
“We have reasons to worry that airborne transmission is a possibility,” Yuen said, adding that authorities were not ruling out other routes, such as contact. ■