Two elderly women have died of Sars after contracting the disease during their stay in different hospitals, bringing the Hong Kong death toll from the disease to 290, the government said yesterday. One of the women, 98, contracted the virus while in North District Hospital. The second, 88, caught it at Tuen Mun Hospital. Both had other chronic illnesses, according to a Department of Health spokeswoman. To date, 63 per cent of those to have died from Sars in Hong Kong were over 65. One new patient, a man, 65, yesterday was confirmed to have contracted Sars - the 26th consecutive day on which fewer than five new cases were recorded. The new patient - the 12th resident of a Sha Tin public housing estate to have caught the illness - caught the disease from a family member. He was admitted to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital on May 23. People from five flats in Wing Shui House at Lek Yuen Estate in Sha Tin have contracted Sars. The Department of Health is investigating how the virus was spread. Two residents of the block have died, while one has recovered. The rest are still in hospitals, according to the Department of Health. The department has inspected the sewage system at the block to see if the virus was transmitted in the same way as the outbreak in Amoy Gardens, where a faulty sewage system was blamed for the wide and rapid spread of the disease. It also has disinfected the Sha Tin estate. Since March 12, Sars has infected 1,754 people in Hong Kong, of whom 1,368 have how been discharged from hospital, the department said.