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Expert urges, put UK back on ‘very high risk’ category amid variant surge

23 June 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

HK people pack flights to London after the govt announced the shortened quarantine

An infectious disease expert has urged Hong Kong to put the United Kingdom back in the ‘very high risk’ category amid a new surge of infections in the country, with most of the patients reportedly carrying the much-dreaded Delta variant.

Only Ireland and Indonesia are currently in that category, which requires all arrivals from these places to spend 21 days in hotel quarantine, whether they are vaccinated or not.

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Meanwhile, another Indonesian domestic helper tested positive today for the L452R variant mutation, said to be behind the recent spike in coronavirus cases in many parts of the world.  

According to staff of the Centre for Health Protection, the 34-year-old female patient arrived on Jun 19 from Jakarta aboard Cathay Pacific flight CX 2780 from Surabaya. She showed symptoms on Jun 21 and tested positive yesterday.


Yesterday, four of six infected passengers aboard Garuda Airlines from Jakarta were also found to carry the variant strain, prompting a ban on the airline for the second time this month.

The results of the variant tests on the two other patients who were reportedly found infected while in quarantine in Penny’s Bay, are said to be still pending.


A second case was reported in Hong Kong today, pertaining to a 49-year-old seaman whose vessel is said to have already left port, bringing him along. The test sample from the man was said to be insufficient for variant testing.

Indonesia has been experiencing its own coronavirus surge, with 14,535 cases being recorded on Monday, the country's highest one-day total. The country has the third-highest number of cases in Asia after India and Iran.


Meanwhile, microbiologist Ho Pak-leung who advises the government on its infection control, has said that the UK needs to be put back in the “very high risk” category amid fears of a rapid spread of the Delta variant in that country.

The daily tally of cases in the UK surged to 11,625 yesterday, the highest since mid-February. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 4,651,988. 

Ho warned that the expected influx of students returning to Hong Kong during the summer holiday could cause another wave of infections here, which may not be detected during the shortened quarantine period specified for the UK.


According to a plan announced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Monday, travelers from countries designated as “low” to “high” risk could quarantine for only seven days if they are fully vaccinated and test positive for antibodies against Covid-19.

The quarantine is extended to 14 days for unvaccinated arrivals.




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