9 imported virus cases found

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating nine additional imported COVID-19 cases involving five men and four women.   Five of the patients arrived from high-risk places with enhanced surveillance and the other four flew in from high-risk places.   All nine cases involve the two mutant strains of N501Y and T478K. Four patients tested positive upon arrival at the airport while the others tested positive during quarantine.   Three patients are close contacts of two imported cases confirmed previously, the centre added.   One of them, a 42-year-old woman with case no. 12602, is a local aircrew member. She lives at Tower 7, Phase 1, Park Avenue, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Mong Kok. She left Hong Kong on December 22 for Australia, after testing negative on December 21.   She is a co-worker of an earlier confirmed patient with case no. 12586. Both arrived in Hong Kong on December 24 from Australia via flight CX138.   She tested negative upon arrival at the airport but tested positive on December 25 during quarantine at the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre. She is asymptomatic and her specimen carried the N501Y and T478K mutant strains.   As a prudent measure, the places where the woman stayed or visited in Hong Kong during the incubation periods have been included in a compulsory testing notice. People who were at the relevant venues at specified periods need to undergo compulsory testing on a specified date.   Separately, the centre is investigating a COVID-19 case confirmed in Shanghai that involves a 26-year-old man who lives at Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East.   He travelled to Shanghai on December 19 on flight MU508. He developed symptoms on December 22 and tested positive there on December 24. He had received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine in the Mainland earlier this year.   The places where he stayed, worked and visited in Hong Kong during the incubation period have been included in a compulsory testing notice.   Meanwhile, the whole genome sequencing analysis of 14 previous cases conducted by the Government’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch confirmed that they carry the Omicron variant.   There are so far 58 Omicron cases in Hong Kong.   Additionally, people linked to Cheung Hing Building in Yau Ma Tei, Block 18A, Serenity Villa in Tai Po and G/F-1/F, 392 Ho Pui Tsuen, Pat Heung in Yuen Long are reminded to undergo compulsory testing in accordance with the compulsory testing notice tomorrow.   A total of 101 cases have been reported in the past 14 days. One of them is an import-related case and the rest are imported cases.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government’s dedicated webpage.
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