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No new Covid-19 cases as 12 patients with variant linked to Filipino DH

27 May 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

It has been 7 months since HK recorded zero infection for the day

No new local or imported  case of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) was reported today, May 27, the first time this happened since October 14 last year, when a strong typhoon disrupted testing services across Hong Kong.

It comes five weeks after a flight ban was imposed on three countries where the most number of imported cases had been coming from in the past few months: India, Pakistan and the Philippines.


However, the city is not out of the woods yet, as a total of 23 confirmed cases have been reported in the past 14 days, five of which were local cases with unknown sources, and one classified as possibly local.

One case recently reported as preliminary positive was today declared not a Covid-19 infection. The 61-year-old nurse who worked parttime at a vaccination center was found to have a strain of the Sinovac vaccine she helped administer, and not the coronavirus.

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Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection has linked 12 cases with the South African variant to a 28-year-old Filipino domestic helper (case no 11544) who had stayed at Ramada Grand Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui at the same time as two other patients.

The CHP said genetic sequencing analysis of an Indian man who had flown in from Dubai (11643) and an Indonesian domestic helper (11550) showed they were both epidemiologically linked to the Filipino DH.


All three had stayed at the Ramada Grand Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui on the same floor on  overlapping dates, bolstering the theory of virus transmission during hotel quarantine.

Experts who studied several cases of infections that were detected after the 21-day quarantine have said that environmental contamination could have occurred in the hotels’ narrow corridors or the S hooks used to hang food rations with.

The variant spread is now known to have started at Ramada Hotel in TST

The 28-year-old Filipino DH flew in aboard Cebu Pacific flight 5J 272 on Mar 25 and was found infected with the mutant variant on his 12th day sample and confirmed as a positive case on Apr 8.

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Coincidentally, four Filipina DHs who took the same flight from Manila but stayed in different hotels for their quarantine were also found to carry the variant on the same day.

The 38-year-old Indonesian DH, on the other hand, arrived in Hong Kong from Jakarta on Mar 19. She was also found with the variant on Apr 8. Of four Indonesian DHs reported as Covid-19 positive that day, she was the only one found to carry the variant.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

The second linked case, the 29-year-old Indian man initially listed as the first local case of variant infection in Hong Kong, flew in on Mar 19 and ended his quarantine at Ramada Grand on Apr 8, when the two other patients tested positive.

After ending his quarantine, he moved in with his Filipina girlfriend in a flat in Jordan, and went around various places in Hong Kong until he was found infected on Apr 17 when he underwent testing prior to his return to Dubai.

The Indian man passed on the variant to his girlfriend (11672), and indirectly to three Filipina domestic helpers (11773, 11792 and 11793), the 10-month-old ward of one of the helpers (11774) and her employer (11797). 

Also infected were the girlfriend’s mother (11800), her elder brother (11815) the brother’s girlfriend (11816) and 4-month-old nephew (11825).

As a result of these findings, all cases linked to the index patient in the cluster (the Filipino DH) have now been classified as imported cases.

The CHP said in its statement that all investigations and contact tracing on other confirmed cases announced earlier are ongoing.


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