Nine members of Hong Kong family get virus after 'hotpot': officials

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 10 2020 07:50 AM

HONG KONG, China - Nine members of a Hong Kong family are infected with the new coronavirus after sharing a hotpot meal, officials confirmed late Sunday.

A 24-year-old man and his grandmother, 91, were initially confirmed to have the virus. Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection later said the man's father, mother, two aunts and three cousins were also infected.

Officials said the family was part of a gathering of 19 who shared the hotpot meal over the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of January.

A hotpot -- also known as a steamboat -- is a bubbling cauldron of stock shared communally, to which diners add ingredients.

First found in the city of Wuhan in central China last December, the new coronavirus has infected nearly 37,200 people on the mainland and at least 36 in Hong Kong.

More than 800 people have died on the mainland, and one death has been reported in Hong Kong.

The semi-autonomous city began enforcing a 14-day quarantine period on Saturday for all people arriving from mainland China, in a fresh bid to curb the spread of the virus.

The city's health minister said Sunday that around 470 people have been ordered to stay at home, in hotel rooms or at a government quarantine camp since the policy took effect.


© Agence France-Presse