11 virus cases identified

January 16, 2022

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 11 additional COVID-19 cases, of which eight are imported, one is epidemiologically linked with imported cases and two are possibly import-related.


All of the cases involved mutant strains.


The linked case entails a 74-year-old man who is a household contact of an earlier case.


The two possibly import-related cases involve a woman who is a cargo aircraft cabin cleaner working at the airport and a 43-year-old woman who flew in from Pakistan last month. Their cases were announced yesterday when their test results were preliminary positive.


The Pakistani woman conducted 21-day compulsory quarantine at Silka Seaview Hotel Hong Kong in Yau Ma Tei after arrival. She tested positive on the 26th day of her arrival.


At a press briefing this afternoon, the centre’s Communicable Disease Branch Head Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan said investigations are underway to find out whether the Pakistani woman’s case is linked to several other cases involving people who had stayed in the same hotel when the woman was there.


“The possible sources of infection may be from the community or from the hotel, but we need (to conduct) the whole genome sequencing to confirm this. Since there are some linkages (between the cases who had stayed) in this hotel, that’s why we are doing some investigation to try to find out whether her infection is linked to the quarantine hotel.”


In an update which was issued later tonight, the centre said it is investigating six positive cases involving Silka Seaview in Yau Ma Tei. All of the six patients, including the Pakistani woman, stayed at the hotel for compulsory quarantine after flying in.


The centre conducted a site inspection at the hotel with relevant government departments and experts in the afternoon. Experts were of the view that the air flows in the rooms and corridors may have led to the spread of the virus to another room.


People who had stayed in the rooms adjacent to and opposite to room 413 from January 2 to 7, and people who had stayed in the rooms adjacent to and opposite to room 1205 from January 4 to 8, will be arranged to undergo 14-day compulsory quarantine at the quarantine centre.


All those originally undergoing quarantine at Silka Seaview Hotel Hong Kong were arranged to transfer to other designated quarantine hotels to continue their quarantine.


Dr Chuang also revealed a preliminary case involving a 23-year-old woman who works in a pet shop in Causeway Bay. The patient developed runny nose, sore throat and cough on January 11 but did not seek medical attention. She submitted a deep throat saliva sample on January 15, which tested preliminary positive carrying the L452R mutant strain.


Dr Chuang did not rule out the possibility of a Delta mutant strain circulating in the community.


“For the (preliminary positive) case with unknown sources, we have identified another possible source of infection in the community. There may be a Delta strain circulating. So it is not only restricted to the Omicron cases we detected recently. Of course, we are very worried whether there are other sources of infection that have not been detected. As for the sources of infection (of the case), we are still investigating all kinds of possible sources of (the) infection. We do not have any conclusion at the moment.”


She urged people to be alert to their own physical conditions.


“So I would like to appeal to the public that if you get any symptoms such as sore throat or cough, even it is mild, please get tested as soon as possible or go seek medical attention as soon as possible.”


Meanwhile, the Government made a restriction-testing declaration in 2-4 Tung Sing Road, Aberdeen tonight, where this woman lives. People within this restricted area need to undergo compulsory testing by 10pm tonight.


Additionally, six places linked to this case are covered in a compulsory testing notice.


The Government will set up or re-open a number of mobile specimen collection stations tomorrow to provide free services for people subject to compulsory testing.


A total of 363 positive cases were reported in Hong Kong in the past 14 days, of which 60 are epidemiologically linked with imported cases or possibly import-related, two are local, and the rest are imported.


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

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