HK reports 7 imported virus cases

October 11, 2021

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating seven additional imported COVID-19 cases involving patients who arrived from Kenya, Pakistan, the Philippines, the US and Montenegro.


It is also following up on local case number 12258 with the L452R mutant strain and belonging to the Delta variant, which was announced last Friday.


Among the environmental samples collected from the patient’s workplace yesterday, one sample taken from the handle of a microwave oven in the staff common room tested positive. With a very low viral load, the centre considered that it was likely contaminated by the patient.


The relevant company was advised to close the staff common room for thorough disinfection again today, and the centre will conduct another environmental sampling afterwards.


As a precautionary measure, staff who use the microwave oven will be put under compulsory quarantine. Meanwhile, quarantine has been arranged for the patient’s close and related household contacts. No related preliminary or confirmed cases have been detected so far.


The centre has also conducted a genetic analysis for case 12258 whose genetic sequence is different from the available genomes of previous cases confirmed in Hong Kong. No genetic sequences from overseas countries uploaded to the online genome database were found to match this case but the sequence is relatively closer to cases reported in Europe, Korea and the US.


Additionally, to assist people working at Hong Kong International Airport to undergo COVID-19 testing, the Government will set up a new community testing centre at the airport’s ground transportation lounge near Terminal 1 and the airport bus terminus. All citizens are welcome to get tested at the new centre.


Bookings can be made online from 7pm today and the centre will start service from 8am on October 14.


Taking into account the higher transmissibility of mutant strains, and as an enhanced prevention against rapid community transmission, the Government noted that it is considering increasing the frequency of regular testing for targeted groups.


Since an environmental sample tested positive at a rest room on Mezzanine Floor, Main Building, SuperTerminal 1 at the airport, the specified place is included in the compulsory testing notice.


Meanwhile, 12 schools are covered in a compulsory testing notice due to outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infection or influenza-like illness.


A total of 68 cases were reported in Hong Kong in the past 14 days, one of which is a local case with an unknown infection source and the rest are imported.


For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government's dedicated webpage.

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