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Govt rules out relaxing border control as 228 new Covid cases reported

21 May 2022

By The SUN


Chan says now is not the time to relax measures against importation of cases (File)

Those who are hoping for a further relaxation of border control measures such as doing away with hotel quarantine or flight suspensions may be in for a long wait.

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said on a TV program Sunday that the government must still stand by its policy of preventing the importation of cases amid worries about a possible sixth wave of infections.

“Many have been asking for canceling the flight suspension mechanism, but if flights from other regions transport too many cases into Hong Kong, the risk of Covid breaking out in local communities will increase as well,” Chan said.


She instead called for closer monitoring amid reports that several Omicron sub-variants have been brought in by people who arrived from overseas.

Chan also warned people to remain vigilant despite the recent relaxation of more anti-Covid measures, including the reopening of bars and karaokes.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protected reported 228 new Covid-19 cases, including several from outbreaks in a primary school, training center and a restaurant.

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CHP’s Dr Albert Au said 16 of the new cases were imported, including five detected at the airport and the rest during hotel quarantine.

Those who were found infected on arrival had flown in from the United States, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Au also said three cases involved students who attended the same classes in a secondary school in the Southern district. One was confirmed earlier, while the two other students last attended school on Wednesday and tested positive on Friday.


The Benchmark training center in Sheung Wan was hit by four more cases Saturday, raising the total infection from that cluster to 21 so far.

The four patients who attended classes at Benchmark went to the Tam Jai Sam Gor Mixian on Queen's Road Central (where a separate cluster has emerged) on May 13 and tested positive on Thursday.

The restaurant cluster now has eight cases, seven of them students at Benchmark.

Fears that more cases could emerge from the Lan Kwai Fong Hotel where an Omicron sub-variant appears to have been transmitted between guests have prompted the CHP to order tests for all residents and staff of the hotel.

According to Au, one of the 15 environmental samples taken from the hotel tested positive for Covid while another had an indeterminate result.

A day earlier, CHP revealed that the Omicron BA.2.12.1 sub-variant detected in two hotel guests from Nepal had been passed on to a couple who also spent their quarantine there.


The couple who had flown in from the US tested positive on day 12 of their arrival, or five days after they had left quarantine, during which they had visited 11 places in the Eastern district, including several restaurants.

From the latest genomic sequencing, CHP identified 10 more patients carrying the BA.2.12.1 sub-variant, comprising five men and five women aged between 22 and 44, who arrived in Hong Kong between May 11 and 18.

Hong Kong has so far detected 56 such cases.

The BA.4 sub-variant was also found in two more cases, raising the total number of such cases to 11. The recent patients were both men who arrived from the U.S. and Mexico.

Dr Lau Ka-hin of the Hospital Authority reported no new Covid-related deaths.

He said 533 patients are now confined in various public hospitals and treatment facilities. Amng them, 10 are in critical condition and 10 are in serious condition.

In the past 24 hours, 84 patients recovered from Covid, and 68 of them have been discharged. 

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