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Investigations into HK’s first local case in nearly 2 months hit blank wall

11 October 2021

By The SUN 

The patient handled cargo coming from the US, Europe and the Middle East

Health experts say they have yet to find the source of infection of an airport cargo handler who was found to carry the Delta variant of the coronavirus and whose case, the first to be found locally in 51 days, was reported on Oct. 8.

A statement issued by the Centre for Health Protection today, Oct 11, said the genetic sequence of the 48-year-old man is different from any of the cases detected in Hong Kong, indicating a possible link to an imported case.

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The Department of Health’s laboratory also compared the man’s genetic sequence with those available in the online genome database GISAID and found no match. His sequence is said to be relatively closer to cases reported in Europe, Korea and the United States.

Meanwhile, a sample taken from the handle of a microwave oven in the staff common room of the man’s workplace, tested positive for Covid-19. But the CHP said the sample had a very low viral load and was likely the result of contamination by the patient.


As a precaution, staff who have come into contact with the microwave oven will be moved to a quarantine centre while the staff common room will be closed and disinfected.

All close contacts of the patient have already been quarantined, but so far, no one has tested positive for Covid-19.


The CHP said it will set up a new community testing centre starting on Oct 14 at the HK International Airport to help staff members who need to undergo regular Covid-19 testing.

The CTC will be located at the ground transportation lounge of the airpor near Terminal 1 as well as the bus terminus, making it easily accessible to airport staff.

Staff and any member of the public who want to get themselves tested at the airport CTC may book online starting at 7pm today, Oct 11.

The new airport CTC is located near the bus stops for easy access

Meanwhile, seven new cases were reported today, involving two travelers from the Philippines, two from Pakistan, and one each from Kenya, Montenegro and the United States.

All are fully vaccinated.

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Six tested positive for the L452R mutant strain, while the test result on one, a 33-year-old man who came from the Philippines and was in quarantine at Ramada in Sai Ying Pun, is still pending.

The other recent arrival from the Philippines is a 40-year-old woman who was in quarantine at Penny’s Bay.

Those who flew in from Pakistan are both men, aged 75 and 31, who were staying at Best Western Hotel in Wanchai.

The others included a 35-year-old man who came from Kenya and was staying at Ramada in North Point, a 37-year-old male seafarer from Montenegro who tested positive on arrival, and a 27-year-old man from the United States who was in quarantine at Dorsett Mongkok hotel.
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