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Filipina DH with coronavirus variant lone imported among 12 new cases

23 February 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The Filipina tested positive on her 12th day in quarantine at Metropark Hotel Kowloon 

A Filipina domestic helper who is infected with the N501Y (or British) variant of the coronavirus was the lone imported case among 12 new cases of Covid-19 reported by health officials today, Feb 23.

The Centre for Health Protection said the woman, aged 32, arrived on Feb 10 on Cathay Pacific flight CX906 from Manila. She was asymptomatic.

The helper tested negative upon arrival at the airport but was found positive on her 12th day of quarantine at the Metropark Hotel Kowloon in Homantin.

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Among the 11 local cases is a 55-year-old woman who is in intensive care at Prince of Wales Hospital where she was taken after waiting for several days to receive her result from a coronavirus test.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection said in today’s press briefing that the patient, a staff in a cake shop at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Mong Kok, had a fever on Monday last week, and visited a private doctor on Wednesday.

Chuang said the woman submitted a saliva sample to the Hospital Authority for testing last Friday but did not receive her test result. When her condition worsened yesterday, she went to a private doctor.

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The doctor referred her to Prince of Wales, where she had a swab test and was found preliminary positive yesterday. Around the same time, the result of last Friday’s saliva test arrived and it was positive. 

Her male co-worker was also preliminary positive and is being treated at Prince of Wales.

Dr Sara Ho of the Hospital Authority said it’s taking longer for test results to come out nowadays because of the high demand. But she said those with symptoms should seek medical help immediately, and not just submit saliva samples.


“Last week, we distributed between 20,000 and 30,000 bottles for the collection of specimens every day. The time for the test results to come back is longer,” Ho said.

Chuang says the 12 new cases include 3 locally acquired, but with unknown sources

Chuang said today’s patients consisted of six men and six women aged 9 to 63 years old. The new cases drove up the total tally in Hong Kong to 10,897.

The local cases include eight with links to previous cases and three with unknown sources. Four were detected in the local community testing centers.

Chuang said there were more than 10 preliminary cases today, including a 63-year-old man who works part-time as a driver for customers between Hang Hau MTR station and a restaurant in Po Toi O, Clearwater Bay. A family member was also preliminarily positive.

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Meanwhile, the government said that from tomorrow, Feb 24, the number of people allowed to gather in public will be raised to four from the present two.

A spokesman said that any person who participates in a prohibited group gathering, organizes the gathering, owns, controls or operates the place of such a gathering and knowingly allows it to take place commits an offense.

He said offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months. Persons who participate in a prohibited group gathering may discharge liability for the offense by paying a fixed penalty of $5,000.

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