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Pilot's infection sends 120 kids in intl school to quarantine

10 November 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Health officials  hold a rare press conference to express concern over the cases

Five new confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported today, Nov 10, including two quarantine-exempt air cargo pilots both found to carry a heavy viral load two days after being cleared to go home.

The other patients included another male air crew who tested positive for Covid-19 on his arrival test at the Hong Kong International Airport on Nov. 8.

The remaining two who are both suspected to be re-positive cases include a foreign domestic worker from the Philippines and a 15-year-old girl who came with four family members from Rome. Both tested positive for the virus after completing their hotel quarantine.

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The new cases brought Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally to 12,375 confirmed and one probable infection.

One of the pilots, who is 57 years old, rejoined his wife and their three children at their home in Seabee Lane, Discovery Bay on Nov. 6, shortly arriving in Hong Kong and testing negative at the airport.

After a specimen he gave at a community testing center on Nov 8 tested positive for the L452R strain of the coronavirus, the kindergarten and primary sections at Discovery Bay International School where his wife teaches and his kids attend, were closed down.

Health officials who conducted a press briefing this afternoon said 120 students in the school have to be sent into quarantine for at least three days while they are tested for Covid-19.


The patient’s 29-year-old co-pilot with whom he flew in from Germany on Nov 6, also came down with the coronavirus at the same time. About 60 of his friends and colleagues, some of whom he played football with last month, are also being sent into isolation.

No new case was found after 300 residents of Harbour Pinnacle were tested

However, an overnight lockdown of Harbour Pinnacle in Tsim Sha Tsui where he lives, did not yield any new infection. Officials said around 300 residents were tested for Covid-19 infection during the lockdown, and not a single case was found.

Dr Albert Au from the Centre for Health Protection said the men’s low Ct value or heavy viral load was a cause for concern, as there was a possibility that they had spread the coronavirus into the community.

Au said further investigations including genomic sequencing are being made to track the source of the men’s infections, which included a positive test result for the L452R mutant strain.


However, since both infections appeared to be recent, he said it was likely that they caught the virus in Germany and brought it back with them to Hong Kong.

There was not as much concern over the other air crew as he had gone straight to the company-provided hotel quarantine while awaiting the test result on the specimen he provided on arrival at the airport.

The cases prompted health officials to consider further tightening quarantine rules for exempted groups like flight crews.

CHP controller Edwin Tsui said that despite the government’s recent announcement that the number of quarantine-exempt travelers will be whittled down starting Nov 12, flight crew members are not likely to be taken off the list as they are considered to provide essential services.

However, he said, “We will work with the Transport and Housing Bureau colleagues to further review if there’s a possibility to consider further (restricting) the movement of the exempted aircrew in Hong Kong.”

Tsui said the new measures could include specifying where they should isolate in Hong Kong so as to balance the health risk that the exempted persons may pose with the need to continue the normal operation of cargo and aviation flights.

As for the Filipina DH, the officials said she tested positive only once, during a follow-up test on Nov. 8. All tests during her 21-day quarantine which she spent in Silka Tsuen Wan Hotel, as well as those taken after she was moved to a hospital, were negative.

At the time, the Filipina was staying at the Rosedale Hotel in Causeway Bay where she was asked to isolate for a few more days before moving in with her employers.

She mostly stayed inside the hotel, except when she was made to go to a clinic at the World Trade Centre building in Causeway Bay for a medical check-up. She also told investigators she had gone to buy food from a nearby Din Tai Fung shop.

Compulsory testing was ordered for those who were at Ocean Park on Oct 24

As for the teenage girl from Rome, the officials said her family members who came to Hong Kong with her have been moved to a quarantine centre as a precaution.

As her entire family had gone to Ocean Park between 2pm to 9pm on Nov. 7, a CTN was issued on everyone who had been there at the same time.

In all, 45 places were placed under CTN after the five new cases were confirmed, said officials. Around five preliminary positive cases were reported as of midnight last night.

For the full list of places with a CTN, please click here:

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