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Lockdown ordered as cargo crew tests positive, likely with Omicron variant

17 December 2021

By The SUN


The Yau Ma Tei building where the cargo crew lives, was locked down overnight

A Yau Ma Tei building was locked down overnight and all its residents tested for Covid-19, after a local cargo crew who lives there tested preliminary positive, possibly with the highly infectious Omicron variant. 

The Centre for Health Protection said late on Thursday, Dec 16, that the 36-year-old male patient living at Cheung Hing Building on Pitt Street, Yau Ma Tei was found infected three days after arriving in Hong Kong by flight CX2071 from the United States.

As he was exempted from compulsory quarantine, he was allowed to go home after testing negative for Covid-19 on his arrival in Hong Kong on Dec 13.


During his period of self-isolation, the patient said that except from buying good outside for a short duration on Dec 15 and going to a mobile specimen collection station, he stayed at home most of the time.

Both places were included in a compulsory testing notice later issued by CHP, as well as other venues he visited across Hong Kong during the incubation period.

The patient tested negative in Hong Kong on Dec 9 and left for the US two days later. He tested negative again on his return to Hong Kong on Dec 13.

After being allowed to go home, a sample he submitted on Dec 15 tested preliminary positive for Covid-19 and he developed symptoms on the same day with a Ct value about 25 to 29, indicating a recent infection. He was also found to carry the N501Y mutant strain.


He received two doses of the BioNTech vaccine in Hong Kong on Mar 22 and Apr 15.

The CHP said that testing by the Department of Health’s public laboratory services showed the spike protein gene of the patient’s sample involved the T478K mutation.

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“In view of the testing property of the Omicron variant, both N501Y and T478K are two of the targets to detect the Omicron variant, hence the CHP suspects at this stage that the patient carries the Omicron variant,” said the CHP’s statement.

But it cautioned a whole genome sequencing still needs to be conducted to confirm whether the patient does carry the highly feared variant.

Nepal Air is banned from flying in for 2 weeks after 4 passengers tested positive on arrival

Earlier, health authorities banned Nepal Airlines from flying passenger flights to Hong Kong for two weeks, after four passengers on a Dec 14 flight were confirmed positive for Covid-19.

The patients, comprising two men and two women aged 24 to 76, tested positive on their arrival test. All carried the L452R variant and were fully vaccinated.


They were among 10 new confirmed cases reported by the CHP on Thursday. The rest comprised two air crew who arrived from Germany and Kenya via United Arab Emirates respectively; a foreign domestic helper from Indonesia, another seafarer aboard the quarantined vessel Glory Sky; and two returnees – one from the Netherlands and another from

Belarus and Lithuania via the UAE.

They took Hong Kong’s total Covid-19 tally to 12,507, which includes one probable case.

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Meanwhile, the CHP is also investigating the case of a 51-year-old woman who tested positive after traveling to Taiwan.

The woman, who lives at Silver Waves Court in Mui Wo, tested negative before she left Hong Kong on Dec 2. On Dec 11 she developed symptoms while in Taiwan and tested positive the next day.

As a precaution, the places visited by the woman in Hong Kong during the incubation period have been put under compulsory testing notice.

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