243 virus cases detected

May 20, 2022

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 243 additional COVID-19 cases, of which 101 were detected by nucleic acid tests and 142 were identified via rapid antigen tests.


Among the new cases, 26 are imported while the rest are locally infected.


A total of 1,197,300 people have contracted the virus since the onset of the fifth wave of the epidemic, involving 9,157 deaths.


Meanwhile, whole genome sequencing analysis conducted by the Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch revealed that 11 earlier imported cases were found to carry the sub-lineage BA.2.12.1 under the Omicron mutant strain.


The two cases involving the sub-lineage BA.2.12.1 are linked to a couple, a 65-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman, who arrived from the US on May 3 and tested positive at a community testing centre (CTC).


The couple stayed at Lan Kwai Fong Hotel @ Kau U Fong for their compulsory quarantine. They returned to their residence at Tam Kung Temple Road in Shau Kei Wan on May 10. They later underwent testing at a CTC on May 14 according to prevailing requirements and tested positive.


For prudence sake, the places where the couple visited after leaving the hotel will be included in a compulsory testing notice. People who were at such venues at specified periods must undergo compulsory testing tomorrow or the day after.


The couple stayed in room 3204 of the hotel from May 3 to 10. According to the centre's epidemiological investigation, during May 7 to 10, a father and son, aged 62 and 27, stayed in room 3304 of the hotel upon arrival from Nepal. They tested positive during their compulsory quarantine at the hotel.


The whole genome sequencing revealed that the genetic sequences of the couple in room 3204 and the 27-year-old man in room 3304 are identical, suggesting that they are very likely to be epidemiologically linked.


The centre co-ordinated with related government departments and experts to conduct a site inspection at the hotel today. It was preliminarily considered that vertical transmission of the virus from one room on a floor to another room on another floor is involved.


Separately, the Government made a restriction-testing declaration to cover Ngar Tsui House of Hiu Tsui Court in Siu Sai Wan.


People in the restricted area are required to undergo compulsory testing before the specified deadline.


As there were positive sewage test results with relatively high viral loads in several areas of Tai Po, Sha Tin and Central & Western districts, the respective district offices will distribute COVID-19 rapid test kits to relevant residents as well as cleaning workers and property management staff working there.


Furthermore, due to a number of positive cases, 56 specified places are included in a compulsory testing notice.


The Government will reopen the mobile specimen collection station at Cheung Hong Estate in Tsing Yi tomorrow, while the service period of the collection station at Richland Gardens in Kowloon Bay will be extended to May 22.


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

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