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10 imported, 1 local case with unknown source reported

02 July 2021

By The SUN

No new infection was found after the building where the local patient lives was locked down (RTHK)

Ten imported cases, nine of whom were confirmed to have the L452R strain of the coronavirus, were detected in Hong Kong on Friday, Jul 2. Test results on the last one are still pending.

One local case with the same mutant strain commonly linked to the Delta variant was also confirmed.


However, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said that the local patient who worked at a quarantine hotel in Yau Ma Tei, had repeatedly tested negative for the virus at a hospital where she was taken after her infection was confirmed.

Chuang said the 41-year-old woman tested preliminary positive on Wednesday, and this was confirmed the next day. But since then, she has twice tested negative for the virus. She has also tested negative for antibodies.

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No one in her family had tested positive for the virus, and a lockdown ordered for the building where she lives in Aberdeen did not yield any new infection.

The health official said the woman had cleaned a room on Wednesday at the Bridal Tea House Hotel in Yau Ma Tei which was previously occupied by an Indonesian woman confirmed to carry the mutated virus.

She then went to get herself tested at nearby community testing center, where her sample tested positive. She has not received any Covid-19 vaccine.

Chuang says investigation is still being carried out on the local patient's infection

Chuang said investigations into the case are continuing, so it was too early to say that this was a false-positive result. At least two previous cases were re-classified as such.

“We find it strange the patient tested positive and then repeatedly negative with a negative serology,” she said. “Of course there may be an explanation, such as she’s at a very early stage after (infection) and she’s still incubating the virus.”

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Another possibility is that she did not catch a live virus but carried remnants of it in her nasal passageway, and that was detected during the swab after a few minutes. But for the meantime, officials are treating it as a positive case.

Another expert, University of Hong Kong microbiologist Prof. Yuen Kwok-kwung said after the CHP briefing that it was possible the patient had caught the virus from cleaning the infected hotel room.


He said a contractor had disinfected the room previously but did not use a product recommended by CHP and only stayed inside for 10 minutes, which was unacceptable.

Yuen urged cleaners who work at designated hotels to get vaccinated, and for contractors to strictly adhere to CHP guidelines.

Yuen made his remarks after visiting Bridal Tea House hotel (RTHK)

Meanwhile, eight newly arrived travelers from the UK were among the 10 imported cases. One each flew in from Indonesia and the other, from Russia.

The UK returnees, aged 17 to 20, all tested on arrival at Hong Kong airport though they flew in aboard three different airlines. Seven were confirmed to have the L452R mutation, while the test result on one was still being confirmed.

Both those who had come from Indonesia, and the other from Russia through Turkey, also had the mutant virus.

Chuang said that so far, 160 people in Hong Kong have been found to have the L452R mutation, and 59 of them were confirmed to have the Delta variant.


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