14 imported virus cases found

December 29, 2021

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 14 additional imported COVID-19 cases involving nine men and five women.


Eleven cases entail the N501Y and T478K mutant strains, the mutation test result of one case is pending and the viral loads of the remaining two cases are insufficient for mutation tests.


Eight of the patients arrived from high-risk places with enhanced surveillance and the other six flew in from high-risk places.


Ten patients tested positive upon arrival at the airport, three were detected during quarantine and the remaining patient, a local air crew member, tested positive after his sample was collected at a community testing centre during regular compulsory testing.


Among the 14 imported cases, a 15-year-old female patient living at Tower 6, The Belcher's in Pok Fu Lam departed Hong Kong on December 15 for the US.


She arrived back in Hong Kong on December 26 and tested negative at the airport.


While she was undergoing quarantine at the Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre, her sample collected on December 27 tested positive.


She developed symptoms on December 28 and had a cycle threshold (Ct) value of less than 30.


As a prudent measure, the places where she stayed and visited in Hong Kong during the incubation period have been included in a compulsory testing notice.


Meanwhile, the whole genome sequencing analysis of 12 previous cases conducted by the Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch confirmed that they carry the Omicron variant.


There are so far 70 Omicron cases in Hong Kong.


A total of 109 cases have been reported in the past 14 days. One of them is an import-related case and the rest are imported cases.


In view of a preliminary positive imported case involving a patient who had stayed in Hong Kong during the incubation period, five specified premises are included in the latest compulsory testing notice.


Regarding a previous imported case involving a patient who had stayed in Hong Kong during the incubation period, people who had been at nine specified premises during the specified period have to undergo additional testing.


The Government will set up or reopen mobile specimen collection stations in Tai Wai, Tuen Mun and Discovery Bay tomorrow.


As Cathay Pacific flight CX881 arriving from Los Angeles within a seven-day period had four passengers on board confirmed to have COVID-19 by arrival testing, and another flight CX829 arriving from Toronto on December 28 had three passengers who tested positive upon arrival, the Department of Health has invoked a law to prohibit the landing of the airline's passenger flights from Los Angeles or Toronto in Hong Kong from today to January 11, 2022.


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

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